|The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) announced this week the expansion of a successful program to divert people from jail into mental health treatment services.
Pathways Behavioral Health, Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System and Morgan County Government have been recommended for grants through the pre-arrest diversion infrastructure – capital grants program.
The Tennessee General Assembly appropriated $1.5 million in one-time, non-recurring funding for pre-arrest diversion capital grants in the FY20 budget. The goal of pre-arrest diversion is to reduce or eliminate the time individuals with mental health, substance use or co-occurring disorders spend incarcerated by redirecting them from the criminal justice system to community-based treatment and supports.
Applicants were asked to focus on rural, underserved and distressed areas of the state, with emphasis on local community investment to sustain programming after the capital grant. Selected agencies have designed programs to serve residents of at least 11 rural counties, including two distressed counties.
Grant recommendations were made by TDMHSAS, in consultation with the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration and will be administered by the state Department of General Services. After approval by the State Building Commission, each of the three grantees will receive $500,000 to implement the program they designed for their communities. Designs include: