Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP)


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About the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program

What is the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program?

The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) is a grant program designed to increase public safety by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, mental health treatment, and substance abuse systems and to improve access to effective treatment for people with mental illnesses involved with the criminal justice system. The JMHCP was authorized by the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) and is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Grants may be used for a broad range of activities, including:

  • Mental health courts;
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment for incarcerated individuals with mental illnesses;
  • Community reentry services; and
  • Training for local law enforcement officials on how to identify and safely resolve encounters with people with mental illnesses.

Each grantee is given the opportunity to tailor its responses to best fit their particular location and the unique needs of their community.

Since 2006, MIOTCRA has provided 254 grants to fund critical initiatives across 46 states, including:

  • Cross-training of criminal justice and mental health personnel;
  • Mental health courts for adults and juveniles;
  • Trainings for local law enforcement officers;
  • Diversion and alternative prosecution programs; and
  • Corrections and transitional services.

Three types of grants are awarded: planning grants with a maximum award of $50,000 for 12 months, planning and implementation grants with a maximum award of $250,000 for 30 months, and expansion grants with a maximum award of $200,000 for 24 months. All grants require a joint application from a mental health agency and unit of government responsible for criminal and/or juvenile justice activities.

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What is the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act?

MIOTCRA was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2004 and authorized a $50 million grant program to be administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. The law created the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program to help states and counties design and implement collaborative efforts between criminal justice and mental health systems.

In 2008, Congress reauthorized the MIOTCRA program for an additional five years. The reauthorization bill expanded training for law enforcement to identify and respond appropriately to individuals with mental illnesses; it also supported the development of law enforcement receiving centers to assess individuals in custody for mental health and substance abuse treatment needs, as an alternative to jail booking.

In November 2011, Congress approved $9 million for MIOTCRA for FY12. In April 2012, the House and Senate Appropriators released their fiscal year 2013 justice funding bills. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees provided $9 million in funding for FY13. The House approved the $9 million in funding for the program in May, 2012. For more information on MIOTCRA, please click here.

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Who administers the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program?

The JMHCP is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. BJA provides leadership, funding, training, and technical assistance to states, local governments, and other justice and prevention agencies in order to reduce crime, violence, and drug abuse, and improve the functioning of the criminal justice system. BJA previously administered the Mental Health Courts Grant Program (MHCP), which funded initiatives focused on continued judicial supervision and coordinated delivery of health and social support services. To learn more about BJA please click here.

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Who are the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program grantees?

Download a snapshot (pdf) of the 2006 JMHCP grantees.

Download a snapshot (pdf) of the 2007 JMCHP grantees.

Download a snapshot (pdf) of the 2008 JMHCP grantees.

Download a snapshot (pdf) of the 2009 JMCHP grantees.

Download a snapshot (pdf) of the 2010 JMCHP grantees.

Download a snapshot (pdf) of the 2011 JMCHP grantees.

Download a snapshot (pdf) of the 2012 JMCHP grantees.

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Who provides technical assistance to the grantees?

The Council of State Governments Justice Center (Justice Center) coordinates the JMHCP a national effort to help local, state, and federal policymakers and criminal justice and mental health professionals improve the response to people with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system. The Justice Center provides training and technical assistance (TTA) to facilitate planning, implementing, and expanding collaborative initiatives. TTA involves both on- and off-site support, including in-depth consultations with field experts and experienced practitioners, strategic planning assistance, and participation in national training events and web-based seminars. Among the other resources available to grantees is a series of publications on law enforcement, courts, and community corrections. These and other useful materials can be found on this website.

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