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SCOPE (Serving Co-Occurring Populations Effectively) Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $199,500)

The Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program is designed to assist states, state courts, local courts, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments in developing and establishing drug courts for substance-abusing adult and juvenile offenders. Drug court programs funded by the Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program are required by law to target nonviolent offenders. The Program supports the following activities:
adult drug court implementation, single jurisdiction drug court enhancement, statewide drug court enhancement, and planning efforts.

The Fresno Superior Court will use the single jurisdiction drug court enhancement grant to enhance the Post Conviction Drug Court (PCDC). Started in 1998, the goal of the PCDC Program is to provide treatment for adult offenders who abuse drugs, a large number using methamphetamine. The PCDC Program is the only drug court in Fresno County linking weekly treatment and supervision with ongoing judicial oversight and team management.

The PCDC Program does not currently have the resources to provide and coordinate services for clients with co-occurring mental health disorders. Proper diagnosis of mental health issues is critically important to substance abuse recovery because without it, the co-occurring problems will continue to interact and degenerate. These clients often fail PCDC and are ultimately incarcerated. For these reasons, the PCDC will form the new SCOPE (Serving Co-Occurring Populations Effectively) Program and integrate mental health and substance abuse services for dual-diagnosis PCDC clients.

The PCDC will use these funds for three enhancements: 1) Provide mental health screenings for all clients entering PCDC. After undergoing the pre-assessment by the PCDC team and acceptance into the program, all new clients will immediately receive a scientifically valid mental health screen. The initial screen will immediately identify the new clients requiring comprehensive mental health evaluations, reducing the risk of suspending program participation later; 2) Hire a dedicated SCOPE coordinator to help all PCDC clients, particularly those with co-occurring mental health disorders, and accomplish the following tasks: a) assistance with scheduling and traveling to their appointments; b) enrolling or reinstating insurance through Medi-Cal or private carriers; c) obtaining prescribed psychotropic medications; 3) Provide transportation assistance for all PCDC clients. Fresno is a largely rural county encompassing nearly 6,000 square miles. More than half of county residents live outside the only major urban zone, the Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area, where the majority of mental health, substance abuse, and ancillary services are located. The SCOPE Coordinator will identify PCDC clients that have special transportation challenges, paying close attention to those whose mental conditions hinder them from using public transportation without assistance. They will help these clients set appointments and coordinate their schedules using available transportation such as rides from family members or public transit; guide them in mapping transit routes, especially those coming from outlying areas where transportation is limited and requires more coordination; and, using established guidelines approved by the PCDC team, provide clients with emergency transit passes funded by this project.

The SCOPE program will better serve an estimated 56 clients with medium to severe co-occurring mental health disorders entering PCDC in the initial two-year project period. Due to Fresno County's significant and persistent methamphetamine problem, priority will be given to dual-diagnosis clients addicted to this drug. The project's main goals are to increase the number of PCDC graduated, and to improve the outcomes for dual-diagnosis PCDC clients.


Date Created: August 3, 2008