Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $200,000)
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 county of Hillsborough proposes to use their Fiscal Year 2009 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (Expansion Grant) to allow the expansion of the proven Community Connections Mental Health Court Project (CCMHCP) piloted in Nashua into Manchester and, eventually, country-wide. The CCMHCP Coalition began its pilot project in the Nashua District Court aimed at either diverting offenders with mental illness pre-trial or offering sentencing alternatives to incarceration such as mental heath treatment. Since that time, the program has enrolled 198 individuals with only five returning to the court for adjudication due to non-compliance with their program contract. The funding will allow Community Connections to achieve its goal to reduce recidivism and improve community safety throughout Hillsborough County by expanding Case Managers from .25 FTE to 2.0 FTE, increasing the number of District Courts served from one to five, increasing the number program enrollees from 65 per year to 300, and implement more rigorous evaluation procedures for measuring program outcomes.