Writer: Staff Reports
A workshop presented by the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government helped Forsyth County land a $100,000 grant.
The Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge grant will help the county create a data-sharing system that will improve coordination between criminal justice agencies and service providers, with the goal of identifying alternatives to jail for people with untreated mental health needs.
In the grant application, Forsyth County cited experience with a Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) mapping workshop led by the Institute of Government last year. SIM mapping is a nationally recognized best practice for identifying where and how people with mental illness and/or substance use disorder come into and move through the criminal justice system.
The workshop also helped local officials learn ways to divert individuals from the criminal justice system, identify gaps that prevent diversion and explore opportunities for diversionary collaboration. The grant, one of 20 awarded nationally, is sponsored by the American Public Health Association, the Aetna Foundation, the National Association of Counties and Healthy Places by Design.