Contributor: Ron Honberg
When it was enacted in 2004, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) represented an unprecedented step forward in establishing a federal strategy to prevent the unnecessary incarceration of people with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders. The beauty of this new program was that it allowed federal funding for a variety of state or
In fiscal years 2006 and 2007, Congress appropriated $5 million to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to award "Justice and Mental Health Collaboration" grants through MIOTCRA. Although an important and positive step forward, this level of funding was not nearly enough to meet the demand for this program. For example, in 2006, 250 applications were received by BJA, but only 28
In fiscal year 2008, Congress increased funding for MIOTCRA to $6.5 million. In a difficult funding climate, the increase demonstrates the strong bipartisan
Three types of Justice and Mental Health Collaboration grants are available through MIOTCRA. Planning grants are available for states and
The following examples from fiscal year 2007 illustrate the wide range of services that may be funded under this flexible federal program.
The law authorizing funding through MIOTCRA is not scheduled to expire until 2009. However, late in 2007, bills to reauthorize and strengthen MIOTCRA were introduced in both the House and Senate. Although the House and Senate bills are somewhat different, both would increase overall funding levels for MIOTCRA. Additionally, both include a new Law Enforcement grant program to fund initiatives such as CIT and other collaborative initiatives between law enforcement and mental health agencies. Finally, both bills would also re-authorize federal funding for Mental Health Courts. NAMI is working to promote this legislation, and we will keep you updated when Congress takes action.
The text of the Senate and House bills to reauthorize MIOTCRA, S. 2304 and HR 3992, can be accessed at the Library of Congress by entering the bill numbers. For more information about MIOTCRA and Justice and Mental Health Collaboration grants, including a list of FY 2006 and 2007 grantees, see the Criminal Justice Mental Health Consensus Project website.
We are pleased to announce the availability of a new fact sheet designed for CIT advocates. Whether you’re talking to the media, trying to recruit partners in your
Use these facts, in combination with our CIT Talking Points, to prepare for a conversation with the media. Or, use the fact sheet as a leave-behind with legislators. Finally, CIT Facts can be used to inform other advocates, law enforcement agencies and mental health providers about the benefits that CIT can bring to your
The National GAINS Center will host its annual conference, entitled "Creating More Effective Services," March 18-20 in Washington, DC. The opening plenary speaker will be A. Kathryn Power, MEd, Director of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA). Registration is free and may be completed online. To learn more, visit the GAINS Center website.
In the wake of the tragic death of Khiel Coppin, a young man with a mental illness who was shot by the
In November, NAMI’s monthly "Ask the Doctor" conference call, hosted by Medical Director Dr.
Ann Woolner of Bloomberg.com reports on the story of Bryan Long, an
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