Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $227,652)
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.
Racine County, through the Racine-Kenosha Justice and Mental Health Collaboration, will use fiscal year 2009 JMHCP Category II funds to complete the implementation of a post-arrest/pretrial jail diversion program for individuals with mental health diagnoses who are arrested for misdemeanor non-violent offenses. Specifically, contract support for intensive case management and community support services with the intent of limiting the length of time non-violent mentally ill offenders serve in jail and stabilizing them in an appropriate community setting prior to trial, along with a community education and training program for criminal justice and mental health professionals will be funded during the grant period. In order to determine whether the initiative is a viable alternative to jail, program outcome and evaluation data will be collected, shared, and evaluated among criminal justice officials, mental health administrators, and advocates.