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Richmond Mental Health Alternative Sentencing Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $249,360)

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 Richmond will use the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) grant funds ($249,360) to support the Richmond Department of Justice Services (DJS), in partnership with the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA), to develop the "Alternative Sentencing Program." Through the Alternative Sentencing Program all defendants referred through a non-clinical screening instrument will be given a clinical assessment. The assessment report will make recommendations to the judiciary based on level of risk and treatment history. Non-violent mentally ill defendants with a prior history of treatment from RBHA will be eligible for release to the community where they will receive treatment and ancillary support services. A system of rewards and sanctions and case management will monitor compliance. The Alternative Sentencing Program will make significant progress in providing better treatment to the mentally ill, reducing the recidivism rate, and easing the overcrowding in the jail.


Date Created: September 7, 2010