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 Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will use their FY 09 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Expansion Grant to expand existing in-jail therapeutic services for offenders with mental illness and/or co-occurring substance use disorders. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) in collaboration with Special Service for Groups (SSG) is the largest sheriff's department in the United States responsible for managing and securing approximately 19,000 inmates in eight custody facilities. LASD is proposing to address the high recidivism rate of mentally ill offenders by expanding current mental health and support services available to inmates prior to their transition back to the community. LASD and SSG also propose to expand services available to provide comprehensive jail in-reach therapeutic services and individualized discharge planning to supplement the existing in-jail services. The major goals for the expansion program are to: reduce criminal recidivism and psychiatric relapse via key interception points prior to release; reduce violence and other unlawful behavior occurring in the jail prior to release; improve the quality of life through increased in-jail mental health and treatment; and increase stabilization through post jail linkages and support.