Sonoma County Probation Department Receives Two Awards For Reentry and Mental Health Collaboration

The Sonoma County Probation Department recently received awards for two grant applications submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance for mental health-related funding: the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and the Improving Reentry for Adults with Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Program.

The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program supports innovative cross-system collaboration for the organizations and agencies that serve individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders who come into contact with the justice system. Sonoma County Department of Probation received a three-year award of $750,000 to strengthen collaboration among justice system, behavioral health, and support providers, with the goal of increasing the likelihood that offenders with mental illness assigned to community supervision will be able to stay out of jail.

The Probation Department received one of twelve awards made nationally for the Improving Reentry for Adults with Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Program. Over a three-year period, the Probation Department will receive $750,000 to improve access to and delivery of services to offenders with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness when they leave incarceration to reenter the community. A significant number of these adult offenders require treatment to successfully complete the reentry process. Increasing access to these services will reduce recidivism and promote public safety.

The proposed project will: 1) screen all offenders entering jail for mental illness and/or substance abuse; 2) assess for likelihood of re-offending, mental illness, and substance abuse before an individual is released from jail; and 3) plan for treatment for co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse both pre- and post-release.

The success of both of these applications is a tribute to the high level of collaboration that already exists between the Department of Probation and community based organizations in the Sonoma County. GPG was pleased to provide support to these two successful efforts.