Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $16,953)
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) allows states and units of local government, including tribes, to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime based on their own state and local needs and conditions. Grant funds can be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and information systems for criminal justice, including for any one or more of the following purpose areas: 1) law enforcement programs; 2) prosecution and court programs; 3) prevention and education programs; 4) corrections and community corrections programs; 5) drug treatment and enforcement programs; 6) planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs; and 7) crime victim and witness programs (other than compensation).
Highlands County will use the JAG award to fund the Highlands County's Tenth Judicial Circuit's newly established Behavioral Health Court. The Behavioral Health Court will divert mentally ill defendants away from jails and into community-based mental health treatment with judicial oversight. Using a non-adversarial approach, this program stresses a closely coordinated effort between the Court, attorneys, law enforcement and community treatment and service agencies, to address complex social and behavioral health problems that cause these defendants to cycle repeatedly through the criminal justice system. Funds will be used to hire one part-time court employee to evaluate potential participants and provide case management.