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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Criminal Mental Health Project

traffic sign reading 'mental health' on a blue sky background

The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project (CMHP), located in Miami-Dade County, FL, was established in 2000 to divert individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMI) e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression) or co-occurring SMI and substance use disorders away from the criminal justice system and into comprehensive community-based treatment and support services. The program operates two primary components: pre-booking jail diversion consisting of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement officers and post-booking jail diversion serving individuals booked into the county jail and awaiting adjudication. In addition, the CMHP offers a variety of overlay services intended to: streamline screening and identification of program participants; develop evidence-based community reentry plans to ensure appropriate linkages to community-based treatment and support services; improve outcomes among individuals with histories of noncompliance with treatment; and expedite access to federal and state entitlement benefits. The CMHP provides an effective, cost-efficient solution to a community problem and works by eliminating gaps in services, and by forging productive and innovative relationships among all stakeholders who have an interest in the welfare and safety of one of our community’s most vulnerable populations.

In addition, the CMHP provides evidence-based Mental Health Awareness Training for Criminal Justice Stakeholders. CIT training is offered to law enforcement and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is available for other criminal justice stakeholders. Please check availability and click link to register on CIT webpage (include link) and MHFA (link).

Miami-Dade County on behalf of The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project (CMHP) has been awarded a 5-year grant to develop and implement Mental Health Awareness Training for Criminal Justice Stakeholders (MHAT) by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The project is designed to prepare and train criminal justice partners on how to appropriately and safely respond to individuals identified with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and co-occurring substance use disorders (SUD). The project will train criminal justice stakeholders to recognize the signs and symptoms of behavioral health disorders as well as to learn skills to de-escalate potential volatile interactions. Stakeholders will include law enforcement, court employees, correctional staff, attorneys, social service partners and families.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) will provide the knowledge base and skills to increase mental health awareness. It is anticipated that trainings will commence in January 2022. Please click link to register for training.

Contacts:
For additional information regarding the CMHP, contact the following individuals:

The Honorable Steve Leifman, Associate Administrative Judge, Criminal Division
Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 NW 12 Street, Room 617
Miami, FL 33125
Tel.: (305) 548-5394
sleifman@jud11.flcourts.org

Cindy Schwartz, MS, MBA
Director, Jail Diversion Program
Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 NW 12 Street, Room 7200
Miami, FL 33125
Tel.: (305) 548-5319
cischwartz@jud11.flcourts.org

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