Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $49,971)
The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP), seeks to increase public safety through innovative cross-system collaboration for individuals with mental illness who come into contact with the criminal or juvenile justice systems. This program is funded through the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2004 (MIOTCRA) (Public Law 108-414). The program is designed to increase public safety by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, and mental health and substance abuse treatment systems to increase access to services for offenders with mental illness. Activities under this initiative encourage early intervention for 'system-involved' individuals with mental illness; provides new and existing mental health courts with various treatment options; maximizes diversion opportunities for nonviolent offenders with mental illness and co-occurring disorders; promotes training for justice and treatment professionals on criminal justice processes and mental health and substance abuse issues; and facilitates communication, collaboration, and the delivery of support services among justice professionals, treatment and related service providers, and governmental partners.
To increase public safety and make more effective use of limited criminal justice resources, the Bexar County Juvenile Mental Health Task Force (BCJMHTF) will use these planning grant funds for a program designed to identify and provide services for young females with mental illness as they come into contact with the criminal justice system. The goal of the BCJMHTF is to reduce offenders' further involvement with the criminal justice system, reduce criminal behavior and recidivism rates, improve the quality of life for the mentally ill offender and their families, and improve public safety. The planning phase of the program will focus on ways to improve Bexar County management policies and practices by examining existing approaches and resources, identifying gaps and areas of need, reviewing best practices, and developing a profile of the target population. This planning project will be led by the BCJMHTF, which is comprised of representatives from the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department, Center for Health Care Services, 386th District Court, District Attorney's Office, Texas Department of Family & Protective Services, Detention Health Care Services, Baptist Child and Family Services, Child-Safe, San Antonio Chapter of National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and Communities In Schools of San Antonio.