Jail, Mental Health Awarded $1m Second Chance Act Grant

Modified: October 25, 2019 7:46am

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Program Focuses on Reducing Recidivism among Inmates with Addiction and Mental Disorders


Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced that today the Jail Management Division and the County’s Department of Mental Health were awarded a $1 million grant stemming from the Second Chance Act.


The funds will be used for reentry services and programs for inmates identified with a substance addiction along with diagnosed mental health disorders.  Working with BestSelf and the University at Buffalo, the Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Mental Health can address the problem of inadequate post-release treatment and high recidivism rates for individuals with both chemical dependency and mental health disorders.


Research estimates that roughly 68% of adults in U.S. jails experience chemical dependency, or have been diagnosed with substance abuse disorders (SUD). Of these, 72% of inmates also had a co-occurring mental disorder; this segment of the population has a consistently high recidivism rate and rarely receives post-release treatment.


The Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Mental Health, working with our community partners, will implement MISSION-CJ (Maintaining Independence and Sobriety through Systems Integration, Outreach, and Networking - Criminal Justice) which is an evidence-based practice for the treatment of individuals with co-occurring disorders from arrest to release or community supervision. 


As identified inmates near their release from incarceration, they will be directed to the community partners and the programs where participants will receive services and attend programs after their release from jail.


The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Assistance Second Chance Act grant will fund the program for 4-years.