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Northern Panhandle Mental Health Court Capacity Expansion Project

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $200,000)

The Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA) Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) is funded through the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-414), which was reauthorized in 2008 (Public Law 110-416). The primary purpose of JMHCP is 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 mental health and other treatment services for those individuals with mental illness or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Jurisdictions are eligible to apply for planning, planning and implementation, or expansion funding through JMHCP.

The goals and objectives of West Virginia's the mental health court includes (1) preventing criminalization of mental illness, (2) maintaining partnerships between criminal justice, mental health and social service systems to offer qualified offenders a court-monitored treatment alternative to prosecution and incarceration consistent with public safety, (3) decreasing the mentally ill offender's frequency of contact with the criminal justice system by improving the individual's social functioning through mental health treatment, stable employment, housing and social support services, and (4) lessening the financial burden put on the West Virginia prison system.

The grant recipient will use funds for another Mental Health Court Probation Officer. The current functioning of the mental health court will improve as an additional officer will be able to: (1) initiate clinical diagnostic assessment of potential participants on an expedited schedule for court use; (2) aid the court in obtaining fill-the-gap psychiatric services for prescription and adjustment of medications to maintain participant stability; and (3) expedite diagnostic assessments during the course of judicial supervision and monitoring, as needed on a case-by-case basis. In addition to serving existing clients better, additional clients in need will be able to benefit from the mental health court.


Date Created: September 7, 2010