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Cass County MH Jail Diversion Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $249,973)

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.

Cass County will use their FY 2007 JMHCP funds to plan and implement a diversion project that will promote public safety and reduce recidivism for people with mental illness. This will be done by maximizing diversion strategies and increasing access to community-based mental health and substance abuse treatment. The diversion project seeks to improve the quality of life for all participants through increased utilization of mental health and substance abuse treatment services, thereby decreasing the disproportionate number of people with mental illness in the correctional facilities.

The goals and objectives of this program will be achieved by: implementing evidence-based practices and attaining fidelity to models such as Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment (IDDT); increasing opportunities for early intervention by implementing enhanced screening tools and expanding training for jail and law enforcement personnel; establishing diversion opportunites by adding a new position to the jail to identify potential participants through assessments and coordinate with the court and participating attorneys for alternatives to incarceration; building capacity for accessing services by adding a full-time case manager; increasing affordable housing options for participants by offering additional Shelter Plus Care housing vouchers; and expanding and formalizing interagency communication.


Date Created: July 30, 2007