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New Jersey Probation Specialized Mental Health Caseload Expansion

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $5,433,507)

The Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program) will help communities improve the capacity of state and local justice systems and provide for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs. This competitive grant announcement focuses on initiatives in eight areas: 1) preventing and reducing violent crime through community-based data-driven approaches; 2) providing funding for neighborhood-based probation and parole officers; 3) reducing mortgage fraud and crime related to vacant properties; 4) hiring of civilian support personnel in law enforcement (training staff, analysts, dispatchers, etc.); 5) enhancing forensic and crime scene investigations; 6) improving resources and services for victims of crime; 7) supporting problem-solving courts; and 8) national training and technical assistance partnerships.

Under category 2, the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts will use the grant award to implement a project entitled the "New Jersey Probation Specialized Mental Health Caseload Expansion." The primary goals of this project are to create 30 probation officer positions to establish adult mental health caseloads statewide, establish collaborative partnerships between probation and community agencies in New Jersey, and reduce the average caseload size of other agency adult caseloads. Secondary goals relate more directly with probation division goals for improving mental health supervision. They include reducing the number of adult probationer arrests and custody costs incurred, increasing client access to professional quality mental health assessments, increasing client access to mental health treatment services in every county, and measuring compliance and outcomes for the mental health caseloads. The probation division will implement several key strategies that have been learned from its current pilot experience. They include limiting adult mental health caseloads to 25 cases per probation officer, conducting intensive supervision of all mentally ill clients, hiring project staff with mental health treatment or clinical background, training officers and supervisors in clinical aspects of mental heath, and conducting real time project evaluation to determine operational adjustments.


Date Created: September 15, 2009