Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $196,750)
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 Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, in partnership with the Administrative Office of the Courts, will utilize its FY2009 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, Category II Planning and Implementation Grant of $196,750 to address the urgent need to provide juvenile courts with child- and family focused mental health information by planning for and implementing an evidence-based intervention pilot project that capitalizes on existing resources and promotes the Comprehensive Model established by The Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System. Following the blueprint, Tennessee proposes to implement a screening and referral system, called the Integrated Court Screening and Referral Project, in conjunction with existing mental health and substance abuse services to address the mental health needs of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. The proposed pilot project will serve approximately 6000 children and youth with nonviolent charges who present in 10 juvenile courts across Tennessee, with special emphasis on rural jurisdictions and females. The intervention will make available standardized screening of children and youth for mental health needs prior to the Mandatory Detention Hearing, provide results of mental health screening information to the court at the Mandatory Detention Hearing, and facilitate the referral of identified children and youth to community-based services if appropriate.