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Mental Health Collaboration Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $75,172)

The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) supports cross-system collaboration to improve responses and outcomes for individuals with mental illnesses (MI) or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse (CMISA) who come into contact with the justice system. JMHCP is authorized by the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2004 (MIOTCRA) (Public Law 108-414), the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-416), and as amended by the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114-255). JMHCP seeks to increase public safety by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice, mental health, and substance abuse treatment systems to increase access to mental health and other treatment services for individuals with MI or CMISA. The program promotes officer and public safety through the coordination of system resources for people who are accessing multiple services including hospital emergency departments, jails, and mental health crisis services. JMHCP promotes cross-discipline training for justice and treatment professionals; and facilitates communication, collaboration, and the delivery of support services among justice professionals, and treatment and related service providers. In addition, projects funded through JMHCP must address opioid abuse reduction.

The recipient will use funds to conduct planning activities designed to free up law enforcement time to focus on responding to violent crime and to improve officer and citizen safety during calls for service involving people with MI and CMISA. The recipient will establish an interagency workgroup including law enforcement, behavioral health, and all other major stakeholders; designate a law enforcement agency project coordinator in a position of authority to review data on performance and adherence to policies and procedures; review, and revise as needed, existing protocols to respond to people who have MI and CMISA; review, and revise as needed, existing, officer, call-taker and mental health training to manage and defuse encounters with people exhibiting MI and CMISA; assess existing behavioral care resources, identify gaps in services, and prioritize behavioral health resources for the PMHC; assess ability to track mental health-related calls for service and dispositions and develop additional capacity to analyze and track them; organize, with technical assistance, a team of collaborative project partners to travel and engage in peer to peer learning sites as part of the strategic planning process; and develop a process for reviewing and improving performance data to promote additional capacity and long-term sustainability. BJA will need to approve the “Planning and Implementation Guide” the recipient develops during the project period.


Date Created: September 29, 2018