(COLUMBUS, Ohio) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today awarded six grants totaling nearly $500,000 to help Ohioans with mental illnesses who are victims of the "revolving door effect." The grants were awarded today at a meeting of the Attorney General's Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Illness.
"Those who are not getting the help they need can end up in a non-stop cycle of run-ins with law enforcement," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "We are awarding these grants in an effort to provide ongoing support for those with mental illnesses and their families."
Members of the Attorney General's Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Illness recommended the six grant recipients out of a pool of nearly two dozen applicants.
Mercer County Sheriff's Office/Hancock County Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board: Attorney General DeWine is awarding each agency with $25,000. The money will help fund positions to provide crisis counseling for individuals in each county's jail, as well as assist with discharge planning. The goal is to support those released from jail and help stop them from cycling back into the criminal justice system.
Statewide Regional Training: The Attorney General is providing $50,000 to fund several regional trainings and advanced trainings on elder abuse for first responders across the state. The trainings will teach first responders how to recognize the indicators of elder abuse and ways to effectively respond to elder abuse situations. The trainings will be coordinated through the Crime Victims Services Section of the Attorney General's Office.
Ohio Department of Youth Services: Attorney General DeWine has awarded the Ohio Department of Youth Services $82,500 to implement a statewide standardized screening process for Ohio's juvenile detention centers and public child service agencies. The goal of the project will help agencies to identify mental health issues in Ohio's youth and recommend appropriate treatment. Governor John Kasich's Interagency Task Force on Mental Health and Juvenile Justice recommended the mental health and trauma screenings to be used as soon as youth enter the juvenile justice system.
The Supreme Court of Ohio: Veterans Courts use peer mentor programs to provide support to veterans involved in the criminal justice system. The Attorney General is awarding $31,000 to the Ohio Supreme Court to create a consistent, statewide curriculum for the screening and training of Veterans Court peer mentors. The standardized curriculum will enhance the existing peer mentor programs in Veterans Courts and serve as a model for other courts that run a specialty docket and seek the assistance of peer mentors.
Ohio Department of Veterans Services: More than 75% of Ohio Veterans Homes (OVH) residents in Georgetown and Sandusky are diagnosed with a mental health condition. These residents frequently disrupt fellow residents and made choices that jeopardize themselves or others. To address the issue, Attorney General DeWine is awarding $21,238 to cover the cost of the Crisis Prevention Institute's Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training for OVH residents and staff.
Ohio Housing Finance Agency: Members of the Attorney General's task force found that without housing that is linked to services in the community, individuals with mental health issues are more likely to reoffend and suffer poor mental health outcomes. Attorney General Mike DeWine has awarded $215,250 to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) to help combat the problem. The funds will be used to increase OHFA's Home for Good rental subsidy program. The goal is to provide permanent supportive housing linked to community services, such as counseling, for homeless Ohioans involved in the mental health courts.
The funding for these grants comes as part of a 2011 bankruptcy discharge with Richland Hospital in Mansfield. Richland Hospital was a psychiatric hospital established in 1947 as a nonprofit corporation for charitable hospital purposes that ceased operations in 2000. The discharge called for the money received from sale of the hospital be used by the Attorney General's Office for charitable purposes.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840