Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $150,992)
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.
Charleston County will use the Expansion JMHCP grant award to address the problem of the growing number of individuals with mental illness in the local jail by increasing the number of participants the program has the capacity to serve and improving the quality of services. The Charleston County Mental Health Court (CCMHC) plans to expand screening efforts, increase access to a psychiatrist, expand a contingency management system of rewards for positive behaviors, ensure that the CCMHC team receives appropriate training, increase funding for transportation to treatment and court appointments, and provide more assistance in the areas of emergency housing. With the expanded and enhanced efforts, it is expected that recidivism among participants will be reduced by 65 percent, and the CCMHC will become a model for other jurisdictions in the state.