"This week U.S. Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Arlen Specter (R-PA), and U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Randy Forbes (R-VA) introduced the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act.
This legislation, which has received bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, will reauthorize the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act or MIOTCRA (Public Law 108-414). Enacted in 2004, MIOTCRA created the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Grant Program (JMHCP) designed to help states and counties design and implement collaborative efforts between criminal justice and mental health systems. Through appropriated funds, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) within the Department of Justice has awarded 53 communities in 35 states with additional resources to plan and implement collaborative efforts between criminal justice and mental health systems."
Here are some provisions of the new bill:
- Raises the authorization level of MIOTCRA from $50 million per year to $75 million per year and will extend the authorization through 2013
- Reauthorizes the Mental Health Courts grant program (Public Law 106-515)
- Requires that a study be completed on the prevalence of mental illness in prisons and jails
More information available at http://consensusproject.org/.