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Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Overview

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2021

This report provides data, case studies, and resource descriptions related to the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s) Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP).


The JMHCP promotes innovative cross-system collaboration and provides grants directly to states, local governments, and federally recognized Indian tribes. Its goal is to improve responses to people with mental illnesses who are involved in criminal justice processing. Receiving JMHCP funding requires collaboration with a mental health agency. Since 2006, JMHCP has funded 568 awardees across 49 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories, with $164.3 million awarded. It supports nine Law Enforcement-Mental Health Peer-to-Peer Learning Sites, which provide peer resources to grantees and communities across the country. As one example of how JMHCP resources are being used, Johnson County Kansas has implemented many reforms to its crisis system, including launching a mental health crisis line and dispatching to 911 calls Crisis Intervention Teams that include trained law enforcement officers. Deschutes County, Oregon has used JMHCP funds to expand the hours of operation for its crisis stabilization unit (CSU). Eventually, the CSU will be able to operate 24 hours a day. In addition to supporting grantees directly, the JMHCP also provides resources and consulting to all communities, whether or not they are grantees. An example of this support is free consultation to any community that requires assistance in diverting people with mental health needs from the criminal justice system to treatment and support. Brief descriptions are provided of resources developed by the JMHCP to aid non-grantee and grantee communities in improving criminal-justice and mental-health collaborations in addressing problematic behaviors that stem from mental illness.