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FY 2013 Grant Request for Applications (RFA)

Law Enforcement and Behavioral Health Partnerships for Early Diversion
(Short Title: Early Diversion)

INITIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Request for Applications (RFA) No.: SM-13-005
Posting on Grants.gov: April 23, 2013
Original Receipt date: May 31, 2013

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No.: 93.243

Key Dates

Application Deadline Applications are due by May 31, 2013
Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372) Applicants must comply with E.O. 12372 if their State(s) participates. Review process recommendations from the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.
Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS) / Single State Agency Coordination Applicants must send the PHSIS to appropriate State and local health agencies by application deadline. Comments from Single State Agency are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2013 for Law Enforcement and Behavioral Health Partnerships for Early Diversion (Short Title: Early Diversion) grants. The purpose of this program is to address the behavioral health needs of people involved in, or at risk of involvement in, the criminal justice system by providing an array of community-based diversion services designed to keep individuals with behavioral health issues out of the criminal justice system while also addressing issues of public safety. This funding announcement is being jointly funded by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) to allow flexibility for communities to divert and deliver services to individuals with mental, substance use and co-occurring disorders. CMHS is providing 69 percent of grant funds to divert persons with mental and/or co-occurring substance use disorders to community based diversion services. CSAT is providing 31 percent of grant funds to divert persons with substance use and/or co-occurring mental disorders from the criminal justice system to community-based diversion services. Applicants are also required to provide a non-federal match related to the expenditure of CMHS funds.

The Early Diversion program is intended for communities to develop effective partnerships between law enforcement and behavioral health providers to divert adults with mental, substance use and co-occurring disorders from the criminal justice system into community-based service alternatives. These partnerships will make it possible for law enforcement officers to divert adults with mental, substance use and co-occurring disorders from the criminal justice system to community-based behavioral health services to screen, assess, refer, and treat individuals before arrest while maintaining public safety.

Data indicate that a significant number of individuals that come in contact with law enforcement and the criminal justice system have a mental, substance use and co-occurring disorder. More than half of all prison and jail inmates (i.e., people in state and federal prisons and local jails) meet criteria for having mental health problems; 6 in 10 meet criteria for a substance use problem; and more than one-third meet criteria for having both a substance use and mental health problem. Approximately one quarter million individuals with serious mental illnesses are incarcerated at any given moment—about half arrested for non-violent offenses, such as trespassing or disorderly conduct. In addition, during street encounters, police officers are almost twice as likely to arrest someone who appears to have a mental illness. A Chicago study of thousands of police encounters found that 47 percent of people with a mental illness were arrested, while only 28 percent of individuals without a mental illness were arrested for the same behavior.

Given these data, and in alignment with the goal of SAMHSA's Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative, this program will help to address the behavioral health needs of individuals involved in or at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system by providing an array of community-based diversion services designed to keep individuals with behavioral health issues out of the criminal justice system while also addressing issues of public safety.

SAMHSA has historically funded a variety of efforts to assist people with behavioral health issues who are involved in the criminal justice system. Such efforts have primarily focused on providing services post-arrest, pre- and post adjudication, as an alternative to incarceration (e.g., jail diversion), attached to mental health and drug courts, and upon reentry. This program focuses on "early diversion" and seeks to prevent arrest and keep individuals with behavioral health conditions from entering the criminal justice system. The goal of this program is to divert individuals at the earliest opportunity to prevent arrest and divert individuals away from the criminal justice system and into the community-based service system.

Early diversion occurs when law enforcement officers (hereafter referred to as officer) encounters an individual and suspects this individual has a mental, substance use and co-occurring disorder, the officer can transfer or divert the individual to the care of behavioral health providers in the community. Early diversion focuses on the role of law enforcement working collaboratively with community behavioral health providers to prevent arrest and adjudication. While the emphasis of this program is on diversion from arrest, early diversion can still occur up to or during the person's first appearance in court, after charges have been filed, as long as charges are dropped or dismissed and direct linkage to behavioral health services are made. This grant program aims to identify viable models for earliest diversion when the sanctioning power of a judge or court cannot be invoked.

Officers want alternatives to arrest for individuals with mental, substance use and co-occurring disorders. Community law enforcement intervention models that de-escalate encounters, such as Crisis Intervention Team training, have been in existence for a number of years and many police departments have implemented training through support from the Department of Justice. However, without the involvement and support of the broader community, officers find themselves without diversionary services.

This program requires grantees to convene a "Law Enforcement and Behavioral Health Partnership" representing key community stakeholders to design, implement, and oversee comprehensive strategies that will divert individuals from arrest to community-based services prior to arrest or at the first court appearance. Through this "Partnership", law enforcement and behavioral health agencies will create protocols to transfer an individual at risk of arrest directly from officer to provider. Several examples of a direct transfer or "warm hand-off" approach exist. For example, officers may transport an individual to a crisis respite site or an assessment ("drop-off") center. Alternatively, officers may call for a mobile crisis team, a forensic case manager, or forensic peer specialist to arrive at the site of the encounter and engage the individual. In each case, the officer introduces the individual directly to the behavioral health provider for assessment and care. From there, the individual is assessed and a plan for treatment, recovery and support is developed and implemented. The Partnership must have a comprehensive plan with a multi-agency approach that will:

  • divert persons with mental, substance use and co-occurring disorders from arrest to community-based behavioral health services;
  • assess individuals for behavioral health conditions and histories of trauma;
  • provide treatment services that are based on best known and evidence-based practices;
  • promote the development of a comprehensive behavioral health service delivery system; and
  • ensure the availability of peer support, medication management, life skills training, access to housing placement, vocational training, employment, and health care.

The objective of this program is to divert individuals before they are arrested and booked. However, there may be occasions when pre-arrest diversion is not possible because the police encounter occurs when a "warm handoff" is not available. In these instances, the individual may be arrested, booked (i.e., charged with a crime and registered in the system), and detained. When this occurs, an individual may still be diverted up to or during their first appearance in court, as long as charges are dropped or dismissed and there is a "warm handoff" to a behavioral health provider.

Once diverted, the individual will be in need of ongoing assessment and treatment as well as recovery support. The comprehensive plan must include for the delivery of behavioral health services and recovery supports that engage and retain the individual in these services.

The Early Diversion program is one of SAMHSA's services grant programs. SAMHSA intends that its services grants result in the delivery of services as soon as possible after award. Service delivery should begin by the sixth month of the project at the latest.

This funding announcement is being jointly funded by SAMHSA to allow flexibility for communities to divert and deliver services to persons with mental, substance use and co-occurring disorders. Early Diversion grants are authorized under Section 520G of the Public Health Service Act, as amended for CMHS funds and Section 509 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended for CSAT funds. Therefore, it would be permissible for either CMHS or CSAT funds to be used for individuals with a co-occurring mental and substance use disorder. Applicants must apply for these funds and monitor expenditures consistent with each of the authorizations. Please see Section II of the RFA. Award Information for a description of how these funds may and may not be used. This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Mental Health and Mental Disorders Topic Area HP 2020-MHMD and Substance Abuse Topic Area HP 2020-SA.

Eligibility

Eligibility for this program is statutorily limited to states, political subdivisions of states, Indian tribes, or tribal organizations acting directly or through agreements with other public and non-profit entities. The application must be signed by the chief executive of a state, political subdivision of a state, Indian tribe, or tribal organization or by his or her designee. Examples include: State Governor, County Executive, City Mayor, or Tribal Leader.

As part of the application submission, the following should be included:

  • A letter from the chief executive approving the submission of the grant application in Attachment 5; or
  • The chief executive's delegation of his/her authority for the submission and signature of the application in Attachment 5. The designee must sign the application; or
  • A request in writing to waive the requirement to include the chief executive's signature on the application or delegation of his/her authority at the time of application submission. The waiver request should be included in Attachment #5 of the application package. If your application is selected for funding, the submission of the chief executive's signature on the application or his/her delegation of authority (designee must sign the application) will need to be submitted to SAMHSA prior to an award being made. Applicants will have a limited time to comply, such as 72 hours or less to submit the documentation to be considered for an award.

Tribal organization means the recognized body of any AI/AN tribe; any legally established organization of American Indians/Alaska Natives which is controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by such governing body or which is democratically elected by the adult members of the Indian community to be served by such organization and which includes the maximum participation of American Indians/Alaska Natives in all phases of its activities. Consortia of tribes or tribal organizations are eligible to apply, but each participating entity must indicate its approval.

This is a SAMHSA jointly funded program with funding from CMHS and CSAT. This program is designed to divert adults with mental and co-occurring substance use disorders from the criminal justice system into community based behavioral services prior to arrest. SAMHSA believes that using funds from both CMHS and CSAT will ensure the delivery of, mental health, substance abuse and co-occurring treatment services and recovery supports that engage and retain diverted individuals in services. Use of both funding sources will allow individuals with a mental, substance use or co-occurring disorder to be diverted from arrest/jail to community behavioral health services. CSAT's statutory authority for this program is Section 509. CMHS's statutory authority is Section 520G of the PHS Act, as amended which limits eligibility to states, political subdivisions of states, Indian tribes, and tribal organizations, acting directly or through agreements with other public and non-profit entities. Since CMHS's statutory authority is more restrictive than CSAT's statutory authority in this case, the more restrictive process is required.

Award Information

Funding Mechanism: Grant
Anticipated Total Available Funding: $2.90 million (up to $2 million from CMHS's Criminal and Juvenile Justice Programs and $900,00 from CSAT's Criminal Justice Activities)
Anticipated Number of Awards: Up to 3
Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $322,222 per year (Up to $222,222 from CMHS and up to $100,000 from CSAT)
Cost Sharing/Match Required? Yes [See Section III-2 of the RFA for cost sharing/match requirements.]
Length of Project Period: Up to 3 year

Proposed federal budgets cannot exceed $322,222 in total costs (direct and indirect) in any year of the proposed project. Grantees may request up to $222,222 per year from CMHS and $100,000 per year from CSAT. Annual continuation awards will depend on the availability of funds, grantee progress in meeting project goals and objectives, timely submission of required data and reports, and compliance with all terms and conditions of award.

Funding estimates for this announcement are based on the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution, as reduced by sequestration. Applicants should be aware that final funding amounts are subject to the availability of funds.

These awards will be made as grants.

Contact Information

For questions about program issues contact

CMHS
Roxanne Castaneda, MS OTR/L
Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA
1 Choke Cherry Road Room 6-1014
Rockville, Maryland 20857
Phone: 240-276-1917
Fax: 240-276-1970
roxanne.castaneda@samhsa.hhs.gov

CSAT
Kenneth W. Robertson
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 5-1001
Rockville, Maryland 20857
Phone: 240-276-1621
Fax: 240-276-2970
kenneth.robertson@samhsa.hhs.gov

For questions on grants management and budget issues contact:

CMHS Gwendolyn Simpson
Office of Financial Resources, Division of Grants Management
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 7-1091
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1408
gwendolyn.simpson@samhsa.hhs.gov

CSAT Eileen Bermudez
Office of Financial Resources, Division of Grants Management
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 7-1091
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1412
eileen.bermudez@samhsa.hhs.gov

Documents Needed to Complete a Grant Application

1. REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA)

YOU MUST RESPOND TO THE REQUIREMENTS IN THE RFA IN PREPARING YOUR APPLICATION.

2. GRANT APPLICATION PACKAGE

YOU MUST USE THE FORMS IN THE APPLICATION PACKAGE TO COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION.

Additional Materials

For further information on the forms and the application process, see Useful Information for Applicants.

Additional materials available on this website include:


Last updated: 04/24/2013