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Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $250,000)

The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) seeks to increase public safety through an innovative, cross-system collaborative response for individuals with mental illness who come in contact with the criminal or juvenile justice systems. This program is funded through the Public Law 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008) and is authorized through Public Law 108-414 (Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act, 2004). The program is signed 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 will encourage early intervention for 'system-involved' individuals with mental illness; provide new and existing mental health courts with various treatment options; maximize diversion opportunities for non-violent offenders with mental illness and co-occurring disorders; promote training for justice and treatment professionals on criminal justice processes and mental health and substance abuse issues; facilitate communication, collaboration, and the delivery of support services among justice professionals, treatment and related service providers, and governmental partners.

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety and United Self-Help, a consumer self-help nonprofit agency, will use the FY 2008 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program funds to enhance and increase support services for inmates with mental health issues who are eligible for parole. The project will provide male and female adults, with mental health issues, a continuum of services from incarceration through parole. Due to numerous risk factors, parolees with mental health issues are at high risk for reoffending or parole violations. The project places a special focus on individuals with mental health issues not serious enough to qualify for state services. The proposed project is composed of two major components: the nationally recognized Bridges education classes for incarcerated male and female mental health consumers, and a peer mentoring program. The project will service inmates from pre-parole planning to their parole release. Peer mentors will provide support and educational services during incarceration, and will be assigned to eligible parolees upon release. The continuation of services first initiated in prison and continued into the community will help reduce identified risk factors thereby increasing successful reintegration into the community.

The project's goal is to reduce recidivism rates of persons with mental illness by providing effective services for sustained mental health recovery. The performance objectives are to increase inmate parole compliance upon community release, increase the number of personnel trained to work effectively with the mentally ill, and increase the quantity and quality of services.

Funds will support a project coordinator and a Bridges Instructor, travel to project meetings, training materials, office supplies, and a contract to secure an Evaluation Data Entry Clerk.


Date Created: August 27, 2008