Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $138,514)
The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) seeks to increase public safety through an innovative, cross-system, collaborative response to individuals with mental illness who come in contact with the criminal or juvenile justice systems. This program is funded through Public Law 111-8 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2009). 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 processed 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 Allen County Juvenile Court will use the expansion grant to expand the Court Assessment Services Team (CAST) Program that has been available to youth and families in the local juvenile justice system since 2004. CAST is a service team comprised of a mental health professional working in conjunction with diversion, probation, education, and other community systems to serve court-involved youth. In 2008, a mental health court liaison was added to facilitate the program and services. This project will result in the expansion of a model of collaboration between mental health services and the juvenile justice system that has been highly successful in the community. The program is a collaborative effort of the Allen County Juvenile Court, Family Resource Centers, and the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize, and Hardin Counties. CAST uses evidence-based wraparound approaches to ensure that the multiple needs of youth and families are addressed. This holistic approach works to remove the mental health, alcohol and drug, socioeconomic, and delinquency barriers that keep youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Grant funds will be used for two additional mental health court liaisons employed by Family Resource Centers and a part-time internal program coordinator at the Allen County Juvenile Court, which will allow CAST to provide 250 eligible youth with higher intensity services and all youth with an initial problem identification screening.