Financing the Future of Local Initiatives

Maximize federal funding and sustain criminal justice-behavioral health efforts

Financing the Future of Local Initiatives

Local leaders face plenty of hurdles in funding and sustaining their efforts to reduce the number of people in jails who have mental illnesses or substance use disorders. They might struggle to work across sectors to leverage available resources or encounter difficulties interpreting complex regulations about federal funding eligibility and usage. Meanwhile, the sheer number of available federal funding opportunities can be overwhelming.

The American Rescue Plan allocates billions in funding for states and local communities to advance criminal justice-related initiatives, creating opportunities for diverse and innovative approaches that increase access to access to social services, decrease recidivism, and bolster public safety. Check out our comprehensive guide that outlines ways for government leaders and advocates to use American Rescue Plan funding to improve their safety and justice efforts.

To respond to this need, we created Financing the Future of Local Initiatives, a set of tools that helps jurisdictions plan for financial sustainability:

1. Get started

Getting Started: A Guidebook for Sustainability and Scaling takes local leaders through the process of identifying funding to support data-driven strategies. Download the guidebook (zip file).

2. Find federal funding opportunities

The Find a Federal Funding Opportunity database simplifies the often complex world of federal funding opportunities and is intended to help users pinpoint potential funding resources for their initiatives. Learn more about using the database.

3. See sustainability in action

Jurisdictions around the country are testing out ways to sustain initiatives at the intersection of criminal justice and behavioral health. Read about the real-world application of these tools.


This project was created with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.