$550K Department of Justice grant spotlights mental health treatment at Orange County Jail

Published 10:13 am Friday, October 14, 2022

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Mental assessment and treatment is receiving a half-million dollar funding boost.

It was announced Froday morning that the Department of Justice awarded a $550,000 grant to Spindletop Center under the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program.

The grant funds aid Spindletop Center’s psychiatric services and care to inmates in the Orange County Jail, as well as the implementation of Spindletop Center’s Justice and Mental Health Liaison Program.

With the awarded grant funds, the Justice and Mental Health Liaison Program will coordinate and integrate services between and with the court, the jail and other community-based providers in Orange County.

A program liaison will focus on meeting the mental health needs of defendants, as well as the expectations of the judicial system, and promote a collaborative approach to criminal cases involving defendants with mental illness, focusing on timely identification of mental illness and appropriate re-emergence into the community.

“This is a collaboration that we’re going in with Orange County to help expand the program we already have in this area to help individuals who are in the judicial system and have a mental health condition,” said Thomas Smith, a crisis prevention specialist at Spindletop Center.

“We’re looking forward to moving ahead with this opportunity.”

The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program is an opportunity for funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for support of cross-system collaborations that are to improve public safety responses and outcomes for individuals with mental health disorders or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders who come into contact with the justice system.