Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $50,000)
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 51st District Court will use the planning grant to assist in the planning process for a Co-Occurring Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder (MH/SUD) pilot project which will divert targeted offenders into community treatment programs and services using the Sequential Intercept Model. The MH/SUD planning project began in August 2008 and has included active participation from leadership representing the court, probation, mental health, substance abuse, legal, and law enforcement sectors. The 51st District Court will expand its Substance Abuse Treatment Court (SATC) Program and incorporate mental health treatment and offender accountability into a larger initiative. The SATC program already serves offenders with substance use disorders, and the estimate is that at least 50 percent of these offenders have some level of mental health diagnosis. The funding will help create the capacity to treat offenders with MH/SUD in an integrated community treatment approach. Eligible offenders must be charged with a misdemeanor, non-violent offense, have a mental illness or a co-occurring mental health/substance use disorder, live within the catchment area, and be willing to participate in the pilot project.