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Commonwealth Consortium For Mental Health/Criminal Justice Transformation

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $50,000)

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.

The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services will use their FY 2007 JMHCP funds to establish a statewide leadership mechanism, 'The Commonwealth Consortium for Mental Health/Criminal Justice Transformation,' to provide the optimal state government planning framework for preventing inappropriate justice system involvement of eligible persons with mental illness, and for promoting approaches for diverting persons with mental illness from incarceration following arrest for nonviolent, misdemeanor offenses. This project will have the additional goals of planning to ensure that the jails of the Commonwealth provide appropriate mental health treatment services for those jail inmates with mental illness who are not eligible for diversion, and planning to enhance access of the criminal courts to necessary mental health evaluation and treatment services for those under their aegis.

Implementation of this program will involve three distinct stages:

1. Developmental Planning - Development and approval by the State Leadership group, of a summary planning report of recommended jail diversion/jail mental health services goals for the Commonwealth, and a plan for statewide training of CCJBs in jail diversion approaches in all localities of the state.

2. Community Training: This stage involves a two-day, introductory training for each of the local CCJBs in all aspects of the Sequential Intercept approach.

3. Needs/Resource Assessment: State leadership members from the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services in conjunction with the University of Virginia Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, will collaborate with a representative group of CCJBs to conduct a needs and resource assessment for their localities, during the final quarter of the project year.


Date Created: September 6, 2007