Cornyn, Klobuchar Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Reauthorization Act Passes House
U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and I released the following statements after our Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Reauthorization Act, which supports suicide prevention efforts in jails, mental health courts, crisis intervention teams, and other programs that have helped law enforcement assist individuals experiencing mental illness for nearly two decades, passed the House:
“The mental health and crisis intervention programs funded by these grants have eased the strain on law enforcement, reduced incarceration rates, and provided better access to care for those in crisis,” I said. “I am grateful to my colleagues in the House for supporting this important program, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to ensure mental health courts and crisis intervention teams can continue their life-saving work.”
“As a former prosecutor, I’ve seen firsthand how public safety is improved by collaboration between law enforcement and mental health providers,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “This bipartisan legislation will help ensure that we have the training and resources to address mental health issues at all stages of the justice system, from equipping law enforcement to effectively respond to mental health calls to facilitating smooth reentry into society. Now that this bill has passed the House, I’ll keep working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get it signed into law.”
This legislation must now return to the Senate and be passed again due to technical amendments before heading to the President’s desk.
The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Reauthorization Act would provide grantees with greater options to respond and treat individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The bill would:
- Support co-responder teams that deploy mental health professionals with law enforcement and allow a 24/7, 365 response capability;
- Enhance community capacity and linkage to care systems to ensure continuity of care and connection to mental health and substance use disorder crisis services;
- Allow jurisdictions to provide case management services and supports along with suicide prevention programs; and
- Support community programs as they integrate the new 988 mental health crisis phone line and allows for crisis intervention teams to be placed in 911 call centers.
The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Reauthorization Act is supported by the Addiction Policy Forum, American Correctional Association, American Jail Association, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Probation and Parole Association, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Correctional Leaders Association, Fraternal Order of the Police (FOP), Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), Mental Health America, Miami Center for Mental Health and Recovery, National Association for Behavioral Health, National Association of Counties (NACo), National Association of Drug Court Professionals, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), National Conference of State Legislatures, National Council for Mental Wellbeing, National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), National Fraternal Order of Police, National Governors Association, National League of Cities, National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), Prison Fellowship, Council of State Governments Justice Center, and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC).