Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP)

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

JMHCP was authorized by Congress in 2004 through the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA). This grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, and as of December 2019, had awarded more than $121 million in individual awards ranging from $100,000 to $750,000.

Since 2006, 531 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 on safely resolving encounters with people experiencing a mental health crises;
  • Diversion and alternative sentencing programs;
  • Cross-training for criminal justice, mental health and substance use treatment personnel;
  • Enhancing access to community-based healthcare services and coverage;
  • Community supervision and reentry services; and
  • Case management and other direct services.

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

  • Mental Health Learning Sites: Ten law enforcement agencies and four court-based sites selected by the CSG Justice Center and BJA to share their expertise with other criminal justice and mental health agencies and organizations.
  • County Justice and Behavioral Health Improvement Project: A national initiative that uses qualitative and quantitative research to improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses in county criminal justice systems throughout the country.
  • JMHCP Conferences: National events to promote peer learning and collaboration among criminal justice and behavioral health practitioners, policymakers, and experts across the country.

Key Staff

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Sarah Wurzburg
Program Director, Behavioral Health
Sarah Wurzburg oversees technical assistance focused on behavioral health, corrections, and reentry, and serves as the lead for projects related to substance use and reentry. 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 abuse 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.
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    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 with 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 programs 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.
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    Alexis Lacy
    Project Manager, Behavioral Health
    Alexis Lacy oversees Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program law enforcement grantees, provides training and technical assistance, and supports law enforcement-related projects. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Alexis worked in state and local government, most recently serving as
    the deputy director of the City Clerk & Clerk of Council Offices in Alexandria, Virginia. She also served as a criminal justice specialist for Recovery Courts with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, where she worked with specialty court programs to implement and expand statewide behavioral health treatment initiatives. Alexis was also a law clerk for a Circuit Court Judge with the Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County Government. Alexis earned an MPA, Nonprofit Management Certificate, and BS in political science from Tennessee State University.
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