Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $49,965)
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 Montgomery County Commission (Montgomery County Family Court) will use their FY 2007 JMHCP funds to develop a strategic plan for a comprehensive system to address the needs of youth with mental illness who are involved in the juvenile justice system. This will improve identification and treatment of nonviolent juvenile offenders with mental illness, to intercept them from the justice system at the earliest point possible, while promoting public safety, and to assist them to accessing needed mental health treatment. The Montgomery County Commission intends to work through the Juvenile Risk and Resource Evaluation Committee (JRREC), a broadly representative stakeholder group that will participate in the strategic planning process and oversee project activities. The Montgomery County Commission will expand the membership and planning activities of the JRREC to (1) develop a strategic plan to intercept juvenile offenders with mental illness and divert them to treatment, (2) enhance coordination of data collection systems to provide accurate data about the numbers and needs of the target population; and (3) train stakeholders and personnel in both systems about the needs of this group of youth and of program models available across the nation for addressing these needs.