Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $25,241)
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 Rutherford County Sheriff's Department will use their 2007 JMHCP Planning Grant to design a strategic, collaborative plan, that will initiate systematic changes in the identification and treatment of offenders with mental illness. The Rutherford County Sheriff's Department plans to build a strong network of stakeholders committed to accountability, cultural competence, strong evaluation, and long-term sustainability. The grant program will promote education around the criminalization of the mentally ill, provide training for key individuals in the process of development of a Mental Health Court, and promote treatment for those individuals suffering with a mental illness. Rutherford County along with the primary mental health agency and advocacy group will match the grant funds with in-kind contributions.