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Bexar County Mental Health Court for Female Juvenile Offenders

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $199,956)

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 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 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; and facilitate communication, collaboration, and the delivery of support services among justice professionals, treatment and related service providers, and governmental partners.

The Bexar County Juvenile Board and the Center for Health Care Services (mental health agency) submitted an application for a Category III (Implementation/Expansion) grant on behalf of its Juvenile Probation Department. The Bexar County Juvenile Board will serve as the fiscal agent for the grant. The 2008 grant funds will be used to implement a mental health court for female juvenile offenders. The court will divert girls, whose behaviors and offenses brought them under the supervision of the juvenile justice system, into treatment and away from escalating criminal involvement.

The implementation of the project will be led by the Bexar County Juvenile Justice & Mental Health Task Force, consisting of representatives of all relevant public and private entities, that have spent the past 12 months developing the Bexar County Mental Health Court for Female Juvenile Offenders . The task force will utilize its collaborative and multi-system structure to continue to facilitate interagency communication, conduct uniform assessments across agencies, coordinate treatment plans and services, limit duplication of services, and organize routes to navigate across service delivery and justice agencies. The grant funds will be used to hire a case manager, travel to national meetings, and secure a project coordinator.


Date Created: September 9, 2008