Financing the Future of Local Initiatives

Maximize federal funding and sustain criminal justice-behavioral health efforts

Financing the Future of Local Initiatives

Financial sustainability is critical for the success of local initiatives to reduce the number of people in jails who have mental illnesses and substance use disorders. With numerous stakeholders and complex funding streams, thoughtful collaboration is at the heart of sustainability for these initiatives. At the same time, as these efforts increasingly focus on addressing systemic inequities in both incarceration and access to behavioral health care, engaging and investing in impacted communities requires careful attention.

To respond to this need, we updated our original Financing the Future of Local Initiatives tools to center equity in sustainability planning. This set of tools now helps jurisdictions plan for financial sustainability through purposeful engagement of community members, identify potential federal sources of funding, and strategically invest funding to support initiatives that advance equity while reducing the number of people with behavioral health needs in jail.

1. Get started

Getting Started: A Guide for Centering Equity in Financial Sustainability Planning takes local leaders through the process of identifying funding to support data-driven strategies with an eye toward addressing inequities in the criminal justice and behavioral health systems. Download the guide (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, including a new resource focusing on accessing federal funding through effective partnership with State Administering Agencies.


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.