NAPO Washington Reports

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act

August 12, 2013

As has been noted in previous Washington Reports, NAPO is a strong supporter of the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP), which helps criminal justice and mental health agencies work collaboratively towards better outcomes.  The JMHCP can help law enforcement agencies across the United States in their responsibilities in assisting those, and dealing with citizens with mental health issues.

On June 20, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act (JMHCA) of 2013 with overwhelming bipartisan support.  The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Congressman Richard Nugent (R-FL) in late January 2013, built upon the successes of the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), and supports law enforcement training, mental health and veterans treatment courts, and resources for corrections systems and other collaborative approaches to improve responses to people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system.

Recently, Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Mike Lee (R-UT) placed holds on the JMHCA.  NAPO is working with other stakeholders to contact the aforementioned Senators to request the holds be released so that the bill can proceed through the legislative process.  (The letters are attached to this e-mail for your review).

NAPO also met with the JMHCA working group last week to discuss ways forward, and we plan to continue to work over the August recess to urge that Senators Coburn and Lee remove their holds from the bill. 

If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Melissa Nee at: