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Expanding Evaluation Capacity of the Dougherty Superior Court Mental Health/Substance Abuse Treatment Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $199,497)

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 Albany Area Community Service Board will use Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program to support a joint mental health agency/criminal court expansion of the evaluation capacity of the Dougherty (Georgia) Superior Court Mental Health/Substance Abuse Treatment Court Program under funding category III of the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program.

The three goals of the proposed project are to: (1) Improve service provision via the NIATx model; (2) Provide a comprehensive evaluation of the Dougherty MHC; and (3) Produce an Internet-based data entry and retrieval system that will be used by the Dougherty MHC and mental health courts nationwide to allow for ongoing program management and evaluation. This data, in conjunction with application of the NIATx model, will be used to enhance and expand program functions, demonstrate positive outcomes for participants and the communities at large, and document the anticipated significant fiscal advantages of providing MHC services to mentally ill offenders.

Key milestones of the project will be: (1) Assignment of selected key stakeholders to the Advisory Board; (2) Agreement on project logic model, key indicators, and evaluation plan; (3) Agreement on key measures and methods; (4) Initiation of evaluation activities; (5) Implementation of the NIATx model and provision of resultant feedback; (6) Iterative process of arriving at MHC data protocol; (7) Establishing initial data dictionary and requirements analysis for Internet-based data system; (8) Establishing interface for data system; (9) Local testing and subsequent implementation of data system; and (10) Making data system available for use by other problem solving courts.


Date Created: September 3, 2008