Funding Alert! Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Grants

U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs and Bureau of Justice Assistance

Calling all law enforcement and mental health agencies! The Department of Justice (DOJ) – Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has a great opportunity for eligible organizations to prepare, create, or expand comprehensive plans to implement justice and mental health collaboration programs. Funded programs will support preliminarily qualified individuals and promote public safety and public health for individuals with mental health disorders (MDHs) or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (MHSUDs) who have come in contact with the criminal justice system or are leaving a custodial setting. Preliminary application materials (SF-424 and SF-LLL) are due to on May 27, 2022; with full submission in JustGrants by June 1, 2022

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants include city, county, or state governments; Native American tribal governments; public and state institutions of higher education; special district governments; and agencies with a different legal status (e.g., nonprofit or for-profit mental health agencies). Projects must demonstrate joint administration by an agency with responsibilities for criminal or juvenile justice activities and a mental health agency. All recipients and subrecipients must forgo any profit or management fee.

What are the program goals?

The objectives of the program are as follows:

  • Enhance, expand, and operate mental health drop-off crisis stabilization treatment centers that provide 24-hour year-round support for law enforcement, criminal justice agencies, and people who come in contact with the justice system. Services can include screening and assessment, crisis care, residential treatment, assisted outpatient mental health treatment, primary care services, telehealth, competency restoration, community transition, and reentry support such as connection to housing;
  • Increase community workforce and capacity for certified mental health peer support specialists and increase the availability of wraparound services evidenced to support people with MHD and MHSUD; and
  • Build or expand existing mental health collaboration programs across people and places in any part of the criminal justice system – such as jails, courts, and prosecutors – as well as community supervision and/or capacity building for criminal justice professionals to target program participants.

For law enforcement-focused projects, see the separate law enforcement-focused opportunity:

The funder expects to award 27 grants with a funding pool of up to $15 million. Applicants are eligible for up to $550,000 over a 36-month project period. Review the full request for applications (RFA).

What makes a project a good fit?

Collaborative partnerships, including law enforcement and mental health agencies that support individuals with MHDs who have come into contact with the criminal justice system, are a good fit. OJP will give priority to applicants promoting civil rights and racial equity, increasing access to justice, supporting crime victims and individuals impacted by the justice system, strengthening community safety, protecting the public from crime and evolving threats, and building trust between law enforcement and the community. In addition, OJP will prioritize programs benefiting underserved communities, such as individuals who identify as Black, Hispanic or Latinx, and Native American and other Indigenous people.

Program-specific priority areas include applications that propose the following:

  • Promote effective strategies by law enforcement to identify and reduce the risk of harm to individuals with mental illness and to public safety;
  • Promote effective strategies for identification and treatment of female offenders with mental illness;
  • Promote effective strategies to expand the use of mental health courts and related services;
  • Propose interventions that have been shown by empirical evidence to reduce recidivism;
  • When appropriate, use validated assessment tools to identify and prioritize individuals with a moderate or high risk of recidivism and a need for treatment services; and
  • Demonstrate and ensure that funds are used for public health and public safety; demonstrate active participation of co-applicants in administering the project; and document, in whole or in part, that funds used for treatment of incarcerated populations will provide transition and reentry services for such individuals.

What if I am ready to apply? To move your project forward, take the following action steps as soon as possible:

  • Review the full RFA additional details and review criteria;
  • Explore the OJP’s overview and resources page for helpful information, past funding, and the OJP resource guide;
  • Make sure your System for Award Management (SAM) registration is active and be sure you have a profile. You can check your SAM status here:; and,
  • Confirm your organization’s unique entity identifier (UEI). The federal government recently transitioned to a new system for applicants utilizing a UEI instead of requiring DUNS numbers. All agencies with existing SAM registration have been automatically assigned a UEI. New applicants will request a UEI as part of the SAM registration process. You can find more information about the UEI transition here.

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services (AGS) today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Rosie Brennan, Community Engagement Specialist, will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Start preparing for next year! The Department of Justice’s OJP and BJA have a variety of other programs and funding opportunities available that might be a good fit. Their websites have ample resources and descriptions of available or upcoming opportunities.

How do I learn more about federal grant proposal writing, so my application is more likely to be successful?

AGS is excited to offer a Federal Grants Training Series in 2022! The series is designed to support nonprofit leaders before and during the application process. AGS also offers several on demand webinars on a variety of topics to support the full grant cycle. Check out our website to learn more and sign up for our training newsletter.

AGS blogs, funding alerts, and trainings are aligned with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills

Competency #1: Knowledge of how to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs

Skill 1.2: Identify major trends in public funding and public policy

Skill 1.6: Identify fundable programs and projects for specific organization

Skill 1.7: Determine best matches between funders and specific programs