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Strategic Planning for a Pre-Adjudication Mental Health Court (Opportunity Number: BJA-2009-2025), (Competition Number: BJA-2009-2038)

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $49,928)

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.

Bluebonnet Trails Mental Health Mental Retardation (MHMR) Center and the 155th Judicial District Court will use the Justice and Mental Health Planning funds to build consensus about the development of a pre-adjudication mental health docket that utilizes telemedicine. Both are emerging as best practices across the country and in the State of Texas. A structured consensus building process called Interest-Based Negotiation (IBN) will be used to design the plan. Interest-Based Negotiation (IBN) is a process in which an impartial third party uses a combination of facilitation, mediation and organizational development methods to assist in constructive resolution problems. The value of this process is that it allows entities with widely varied interests to balance and evaluate those interests to arrive at agreed upon solutions to mutual problems.


Date Created: September 28, 2009