The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2015 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Treatment Drug Courts. The purpose of this program is to expand and/or enhance substance abuse treatment services in existing adult and family “problem solving” courts, which use the treatment drug court model in order to provide alcohol and drug treatment (including recovery support services supporting substance abuse treatment, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination as well as family-focused services in the case of Family Treatment Drug Courts) to defendants/offenders. Grantees will be expected to provide a coordinated, multi-system approach designed to combine the sanctioning power of treatment drug courts with effective treatment services to break the cycle of criminal behavior, child abuse and neglect, alcohol and/or drug use, and incarceration or other penalties. Grants funds must be used to serve people diagnosed with a substance use disorder as their primary condition, particularly high risk/high need populations diagnosed with substance dependence or addiction to alcohol/other drugs and identified as needing immediate treatment. Grant funds must be used to address gaps in the continuum of treatment for those individuals in these drug courts who have substance abuse and/or co-occurring disorders treatment needs. Grant funds may be used to provide services for co-morbid conditions, such as mental health problems, as long as expenditures remain consistent with the drug court model which is designed to serve individuals needing treatment for substance dependence or addiction to alcohol/other drugs. SAMHSA will use discretion in allocating funding for these awards, taking into consideration the specific drug court models (adult and family treatment drug courts) as appropriate, and the number of applications received per model type.
The term “drug court” is a specially designed court calendar or docket with the purpose of reducing recidivism and substance abuse among substance-abusing offenders and increasing the likelihood of successful habilitation through early, continuous, and intense judicially supervised treatment, mandatory periodic drug testing, and the use of appropriate sanctions and other habilitation services. Drug courts have been created at a high rate with almost 2,700 in existence in 2014, but many lack sufficient funding for substance abuse treatment. Treatment drug courts represent the coordinated efforts of the judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social service, and treatment communities to actively intervene and break the cycle of substance abuse, addiction, and crime. Stakeholders work together to give individual clients the opportunity to improve their lives, including recovery from substance use disorders, and develop the capacity and skills to become fully-functioning parents, employees, and citizens.
SAMHSA’s interest is to actively support and shape treatment drug courts that serve substance-abusing clients in the respective problem-solving court models as long as the court meets all the elements required for drug courts. The intent is to meet the clinical needs of clients and ensure clients are treated using evidence-based practices consistent with the disease model and the problem-solving model, rather than with the traditional court case-processing model. A long-term goal of this program is to build sustainable systems of care for individuals needing treatment drug court services.
In alignment with the goals of SAMHSA’s Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative this program will help “reduce the pervasive, harmful, and costly health impact of violence and trauma by integrating trauma-informed approaches throughout health, behavioral health, and related systems and addressing the behavioral health needs of people involved in or at risk of involvement in the criminal justice systems.” By providing needed treatment and recovery services, this program is intended to reduce the health and social costs of substance abuse and dependence to the public, and increase the safety of America’s citizens by reducing substance abuse related crime and violence. Additional anticipated outcomes include: increased number of individuals served, increased abstinence from substance use, increased employment rates, decreased recidivism rates, increased housing stability, decreased criminal justice involvement, improved individual and family functioning and well-being, increased social connectedness, and decreased risky behaviors. The SAMHSA Treatment Drug Court program seeks to address behavioral health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by encouraging the implementation of strategies to decrease the differences in access, service use, and outcomes among the racial and ethnic minority populations served. (See PART II: Appendix G – Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities.)
Eligible drug courts must be operational on or before September 1, 2015. Operational is defined as a having a set of cases and seeing clients in the drug court. By signing the cover page (SF-424) of the application, the authorized representative of the applicant organization is certifying that the drug court(s) applying for funds or receiving funds as part of this grant are currently or will be operational on or before September 1, 2015.
SAMHSA Treatment Drug Courts 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 to clients should begin by the 4th month of the project at the latest.
SAMHSA treatment drug court grants are authorized under Section 509 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Substance Abuse Topic Area HP 2020-SA.
NOTE: SAMHSA/CSAT, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), is also offering a grant opportunity for adult drug courts titled “Enhancing Adult Drug Court Services, Coordination, and Treatment FY 2015 Competitive Grant Announcement.” The purpose of the joint initiative is for applicants to submit one comprehensive strategy for enhancing drug court coordination, services, and treatment capacity, which allows applicants to compete for two grants (one from BJA and one from SAMHSA) with one application.
BJA is also offering its stand-alone drug court solicitation titled “Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program FY 2015 Competitive Grant Announcement,” which provides financial and technical assistance to states, state courts, local courts, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments to develop and implement drug treatment courts that effectively integrate substance abuse treatment, mandatory drug testing, sanctions and incentives, and transitional services in a judicially supervised court setting with jurisdiction over nonviolent, substance-abusing offenders.
Applicants may submit an application in response to one or all grant solicitations. However, neither SAMHSA/CSAT nor BJA will make more than one award for the same proposed drug court project to the same jurisdiction/court. Furthermore, both SAMHSA and BJA may consider geographic distribution when making funding decisions. The aforementioned drug court grant solicitations may be found on OJP/BJA’s website at https://www.bja.gov/funding.aspx#1, and SAMHSA’s website at http://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements-2015.