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Justice and Mental Health Collaborative Program Proposal

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $250,000)

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.

Dauphin County, through its Human Services Department's Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MH/MR) Program will use their 2009 Category II: Planning and Implementation Grant to develop and implement a mental health court, expand their current jail diversion program to a broader population, and expand the capacity of their forensic re-entry program. Dauphin County MH/MR is currently a recipient of a SAMHSA funded MH Jail Diversion Grant. As a result of the successful collaboration and partnership between the legal and court system, county prison, law enforcement agencies, pre-trial services, probation and parole, and mental health treatment provider agencies, a strategic plan was developed in September of 2008 to more fully address the needs of individuals with mental illness who are charged with a criminal offense. This collaboration describes a work plan and objectives to reduce the population of persons with mental illness in the local prisons charged with misdemeanor offenses, provide improved access to evidence - based mental health services, provide sentencing alternatives to persons with mental illness charged with a crime, and train the grant partners to more effectively collaborate on common goals of improving community safety while reducing the population of mentally ill offenders in prison.


Date Created: September 15, 2009