Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $175,000)
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 city of Boston will use $175,000 in Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program funding for an expansion project. The Boston Police Department (BPD)has a strong history of working with the Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST) of the Boston Medical Center to increase public safety through innovative cross-system collaboration for individuals with mental illness who come into contact with the criminal justice system. A major goal of the program expansion is to increase mental health services provision by educating BPD officers on BEST and its services. This education will occur via an E-Learning curriculum that will be made available to all BPD sworn personnel, including not only street officers but also special unit detectives (e.g., Homicide, Sexual Assault, etc.).