Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program

The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program facilitates collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, and mental health and substance use treatment systems to better serve people with mental illnesses and to increase public safety.

The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) promotes innovative cross-system collaboration and provides grants directly to states, local governments, and federally recognized Indian tribes.

JMHCP funding requires collaboration with a mental health agency and is designed to improve responses to people with mental illnesses who are involved in the criminal justice system.

JMHCP was reauthorized by Congress in 2008 through the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA). In 2016, it was amended by the 21st Century Cures Act, which provided for JMHCP as well as mental health courts.  This grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). As of December 2020, JMHCP has awarded more than $164.3 million in awards ranging from $100,000 to $750,000.

Since 2006, 568 JMHCP grants have been awarded to agencies and organizations in 49 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and American Samoa.  Grants are used for a broad range of activities, including:

  • Police-mental health collaborations and training for law enforcement officials to help them safely resolve encounters with people experiencing a mental health crisis;
  • Diversion and alternative sentencing programs;
  • Cross-training for criminal justice, mental health, and substance use treatment personnel;
  • Enhancing access to community-based health care services and coverage;
  • Community supervision and reentry services;
  • Case management and other direct services;
  • Mitigating threats of targeted violence; and
  • Strengthening juvenile justice systems to improve outcomes for youth.

In addition to its grants, JMHCP funds a number of initiatives to support collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, mental health, and substance use treatment systems, including:

  • The Center for Justice and Mental Health Partnerships: The training and support center offers free training, resources, and support to communities wanting to improve outcomes or enhance current responses for people in their criminal justice systems who have a mental illness or co-occurring substance use disorder.
  • Mental Health Learning Sites: Nine law enforcement agencies and four court-based sites were selected by the CSG Justice Center and BJA to share their expertise with other criminal justice and mental health agencies and organizations.
  • JMHCP Conferences: National events to promote peer learning and collaboration among criminal justice and behavioral health practitioners, policymakers, and experts across the country.
  • Law Enforcement-Mental Health Learning Sites: Fourteen programs serve as peer resources to grantees and communities across the country looking to build collaborative responses to people who have mental health needs.

The Center for Justice and Mental Health Partnerships

The Center for Justice and Mental Health Partnerships offers free training, resources, and support to communities wanting to improve outcomes or enhance current responses for people in their criminal justice systems who have a mental illness or co-occurring substance use disorder.

The training and support center is administered by the CSG Justice Center with support from BJA.

Request Free Support

JMHCP News

Key Staff


Image for:
Sarah Wurzburg
Program Director, Behavioral Health
Sarah Wurzburg oversees technical assistance focused on behavioral health, diversion, and reentry and serves as the lead for projects related to substance use, mental illnesses, and housing. She leads the work on the development of community responder programs, including a
...
toolkit that supports sites in development of non-police responses to people in crisis. Previously, Sarah was a research analyst at the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc., where she was the team lead for Youth and Women’s Services and was the primary author of research reports on youth substance use disorder treatment, driving under the influence, and Medicaid. Sarah has also worked as a juvenile court advocate and in community substance use disorder prevention. She received her BA from DePauw University in English (writing) and her MA in social services administration with a focus on policy analysis from the University of Chicago.
Read More
  • Image for:
    Demetrius Thomas
    Deputy Program Director, Behavioral Health
    Demetrius Thomas oversees training and technical assistance for the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, he worked at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene developing and managing programs aimed at reducing
    ...
    criminal justice involvement among people with mental or behavioral health needs. There, he led the agency’s work in establishing New York City’s first-ever diversion centers and co-response teams. He has advocated, litigated, and legislated on a range of issues at the intersection of criminal justice and public health. Demetrius earned a BA with a dual concentration in international and U.S. politics from Columbia University and a JD from the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.  
    Read More
  • Image for:
    Allison Upton
    Project Manager, Behavioral Health
    Allison Upton provides technical assistance to grantees and supports policy development and projects specializing in the intersection of criminal justice and behavioral health issues. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Allison worked at the Center for Alternative Sentencing and
    ...
    Employment Services (CASES) as the director of court programs, where she oversaw the court and community operations of several alternative-to-incarceration (ATI) and detention programs serving adults with behavioral health needs in New York County. While at CASES, she developed a gender-specific track of ATI services for women involved in the justice system and provided training on evidence-based practices in screening/assessment in justice settings, gender-responsive recidivism risk assessment, trauma-informed case management practices, and cognitive behavioral group interventions aimed at minimizing risk of recidivism. Allison previously worked as a staff psychologist in inpatient services at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center and as the director of an outpatient program at the Bronx Children's Psychiatric Center. She received her BA from the University of Miami and her MS and PsyD in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University.
    Read More