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County receives $729,639 Federal Mental Health/Jail Diversion Grant

Press release from Alachua County

Alachua County is pleased to announce a second Federal Department of Justice grant award cycle ($729,639) for the “Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program: Embedding Clinicians in Law Enforcement Agencies” (JMHCP).  The JMHCP Grant Cycle 2 will build upon the planning accomplished in the first cycle.  

The initial JMHCP grant cycle was for conducting a comprehensive process analysis of the intersection between behavioral health and the criminal justice system. It included collaborating with a wide array of stakeholders from criminal justice, law enforcement, court services, researchers, and behavioral health partners.  This collaboration resulted in the “Alachua County Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Systems Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Strategic Plan 2020” to implement a focused care coordination model to reduce the prevalence of those living with mental illness in the Alachua County Jail.  Alachua County Court Services is collaborating in this effort with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, the Gainesville Police Department, the University of Florida Police Department, the Court System, the State Attorney, the Public Defender, Meridian Behavioral Health Care, The State Department of Children, the Families & National Alliance on Mental Illness,  the VA Hospital, North Florida Regional Medical Center, and UF Health Shands Hospital. 

In speaking of the grant, Program Director David Johnson said, “This award will add to our long history of serving our vulnerable populations through efforts under the National Stepping Up Initiative, specialty courts (Mental Health Court, Drug Court, and Veteran’s Treatment Court), the Criminal Justice, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Reinvestment Grant, Mental Health First Aid, deferred prosecution programs though the State Attorney Office, and the Clinician-Officer co-responder model with  the Gainesville Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.”