Criminal Justice Reinvestment Grant Awarded to Enhance Forensic Reintegration

April 1st, 2011

The Department of Children and Families has awarded Collier County Housing, Human and Veteran Services a criminal justice mental health and substance abuse reinvestment grant. The grant is for $182,830 per year for three years and required a 100% match and an active County-wide interagency criminal justice planning council with a strategic plan. David Lawrence Center has been an active participant on the council and in the development of the plan and assisted with the grant submission. Reinvestment grants fund initiatives that increase public safety, avert increased spending on criminal and juvenile justice, and improve the accessibility and effectiveness of mental health and substance abuse treatment services.

The grant will be used to implement jail and community-based transitional supports through a new Forensic Intensive Reintegration Support Team (FIRST). The program will help adults with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring substance abuse disorders successfully integrate into society following a period of incarceration. The team will provide assessments, treatment planning, referrals and coordination for post-release services which can include supported housing, forensic intensive case management, supported employment, assistance with disability benefits attainment, peer specialist recovery support and cognitive behavioral outpatient therapy.

Collier County has contracted with the David Lawrence Center, Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Prison Health Services, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Collier County (NAMI) to develop the Team. Florida Gulf Coast University is also a partner in the program who will assist with program implementation and evaluation.

The goal of the grant is to improve treatment access and retention, reduce days in jail, attain permanent, stable housing and improve social connectedness for program participants.

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