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CIT in Action #8

1.   National GAINS Center Conference Coverage

2.   Justice Department Announcement about Criminal Justice/Mental Health Grant Funds Expected Shortly!

3.  Criminal Justice/Mental Health Information Network

4.   Mental Health Court Learning Sites!

5.   Iowa Department of Correctional Services Jail Assessment/Diversion Program

6.    Take Part in SAMHSA’s Free Teleconference Concerning Mental Health Disclosure!

7.   Useful Links

1.  National GAINS Center Conference Coverage

The 2006 National GAINS Center Conference this year in Boston, Massachusetts was a huge success. The conference titled ‘System Transformation at the Interface of the Criminal Justice and Mental Health Systems’ was the embodiment of collaboration and partnership between these systems. The conference hosted 1035 attendees, 145 sessions, and 347 presenters. The opening plenary hosted Kathryn Power, Director of the Center for Mental Health Services, Domingo Herraiz, Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, and Henry J. Steadman, Director of the GAINS Center. Ms. Power, Mr. Herraiz, and Mr. Steadman welcomed conference participants with encouraging and enlightening messages about the partnership between criminal justice and mental health professionals. The strong attendance and nationwide participation shows the powerful progress being made to decriminalize mental illness and the meaningful partnerships developing throughout the fields of criminal justice and mental health. There were a number of interesting workshops and conference sessions on a variety of topics, including pre and post-booking diversion, CIT, Mental Health Courts, and prisoner reentry.  For more information on the GAINS Center, please visit:

2.   Justice Department Announcement about Criminal Justice/Mental Health Grant Funds Expected Shortly

The U.S. Congress allocated $5 million in FY 2007 for the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act”, a program which will be administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).  A notice from BJA announcing the availability of funds through this program is expected in the next several weeks.  These funds, which will be available to state, tribal and local governments, may be used for a variety of purposes to assist non-violent offenders with mental illnesses, including jail diversion, reentry programs, and training programs for law enforcement, corrections, and mental health personnel.  The BJA will solicit applications for these grants through a “Notice of Fund Availability” (NOFA).  While the specific requirements for grantees are not yet available, it is expected that applicants who can demonstrate strong collaborations between criminal justice, mental health and other key stakeholders (including consumers and families) will be favored.  We also anticipate that prospective grantees will have approximately one month after the date the NOFA is released to submit their applications.  NAMI will provide more specific information about the NOFA and how to apply for these grants when it becomes available.  For more information about this program, go to

3. Criminal Justice/Mental Health Information Network

The collaborative effort of Council of State Governments’ Consensus Project, The National GAINS Center, and NAMI has produced a powerful new database. The database is designed to help you improve your understanding of the criminal justice/mental health partnerships as well as learn what initiatives are being developed in communities across the country. The database provides useful information on criminal justice/mental health programs, research, legislation, media coverage, advocacy, and statewide coordinating efforts to support local programs. You can preview the InfoNet's content, track its growth as it continues to expand, and submit your email address to receive updates by visiting

4.   Mental Health Court Learning Sites

As of March 2006, there were over 120 known mental health courts in 35 states across the country. To facilitate peer-to-peer assistance among mental health courts, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), through its technical assistance provider, the Council of State Governments (CSG), has designated five mental health courts as “learning sites.” Located across the United States, these learning sites represent a diverse cross-section of perspectives and court models. The five learning sites are: Akron Municipal Mental Health Court (Akron, OH), Bonneville County Mental Health Court (Idaho Falls, ID), Bronx County Mental Health Court (NY, NY), Dougherty Superior Court Mental Health Substance Abuse Division (Albany, GA), and Washoe County Multi-jurisdictional Mental Health Court, (Reno, NV). These learning sites will host teams from other jurisdictions planning or implementing a mental health court as well as assist in facilitating new materials and promising practices. To learn more about these mental health court learning sites, and how they might be of assistance to your community, visit:

5.  Iowa Department of Correctional Services Jail Assessment/Diversion Program

A post-booking jail diversion program with a holistic approach, this collaboration between attorneys, judges, parole, service agencies, and jail medical professionals develops individualized strategies for offenders with mental illness. Clients with mental health needs and/or co-occurring disorders enter the program through self report and follow up interviews. Once a client is accepted into the program, a team of stakeholders devise the best treatment plan for the individual. These action plans, having been agreed upon by legal and mental health professionals, are developed to provide the most appropriate placements based on the need of the client. Assistance includes housing, availabilities for services such as social security or veterans benefits, and proper mental health care treatment. This program, based on the APIC Model (Assess, Plan, Identify, and Coordinate) has an impressive and promising success rate. 75% of the program’s clients were diverted from jail and prison and successfully transitioned into the community. The program accepts 17 new clients per month, both males and females, not accounting for re-arrests of previous clients. Currently, there are five specialized probation/parole officers working with the program who work with service providers and specialized programs in the community to assist in the care of clients. In discussing the program and the need for jail diversion to encompass a myriad of issues such as housing and employment, Ms. Sara Carter, the Community Treatment Coordinator, stated, “If you are not addressing all of these areas, you are not seeing what the problem is.” For more information on this program, please contact Ms. Sara Carter at:

6.  Take Part in SAMHSA’s Free Teleconference Concerning Mental Health Disclosure!

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about one in four American adults, or approximately 57.7 million people, will experience a diagnosable mental illness in the coming year. For many people the act of coming out of the closet about having a mental heath problem is a complex process of weighing the benefits and risks of speaking up. Yet, research indicates that, despite its difficulties, self disclosure has a positive effect on peoples' lives overall. The SAMHSA Resource Center to Address Discrimination and Stigma Associated With Mental Illness invites you to participate in a free teleconference training titled,”Self-disclosure: The Public and Personal Effects of Revealing Mental HealthProblems." This teleconference will be hosted on Thursday, April 27, 2006 at12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (Eastern Time).To participate in this training teleconference, please complete the online registration form located at  For additional teleconference information, please refer to the Training section of the SAMHSA ADS Center web site or contact a technical assistance representative by e-mail at or by telephone at 1-800-540-0320. Please pass this invitation along to interested friends and colleagues. Please note: Registration for this teleconference will close at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on Wednesday, April 26, 2006.

7. Useful Links

The Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence (CJ/CCoE): 
Established in May 2001 to promote jail diversion alternatives for people with mental illness throughout Ohio.

The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project: 
A repository of information about all aspects of jail diversion, reentry, and enhanced treatment for offenders with mental illness.

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance: 

Administers federal mental health courts program, provides resources and information for jail diversion, publications and reports, information about federal funding sources.

The National Gains Center: 

Focused  on expanding access to community based services for adult's diagnosed with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders at all points of contact with the justice system.

Police Executive Research Forum (PERF): 
Information about criminal justice and mental health, community policing and other relevant information).

The Reentry Policy Council 

Bipartisan recommendations for successful prisoner reentry practices. This comprehensive report is beneficial as it recommends reentry strategies that reduce the likelihood of recidivism.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 

Administers federal jail diversion grant program, resource information, publications, and other helpful information about criminal justice and mental health.

Connecticut Crisis Intervention Teams 

An excellent resource for Connecticut residents and nonresidents alike. The site offers training information, posts, and articles with information concerning the implementation and sustainability of CIT.

Your Feedback and Information is Needed!

We are also eager to hear from you about news or stories we can include for future issues of CIT in Action. Send your comments or ideas to Bonnie Sultan,