Issue: Drug courts substance abuse and mental health
Some of the grant programs can be used to support state courts efforts.
State courts advocate full funding for those programs that will assist in dealing with the effects of federal initiatives on state courts.
The grant programs that address these issues are by in large administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The primary grant programs are listed below.
DOJ Grant Programs – (1) Drug Courts and (2) Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act
HHS Grant Programs – (1) Mental Health Services Programs of Regional and National Significance and (2) Substance Abuse Treatment Programs of Regional and National Significance
President Obama released his annual budget on 5/7/09. Overall for HHS and DOJ programs, the budget reflects the same or increased amounts over FY 2009 funding levels. For Drug Courts and Mental Health Courts, the President proposed combining the programs into a combined Drug, Mental Health, and Problem Solving Courts program and proposed $59 million (M) for the new Program. The $59M reflects a small increase over FY 2009 funding.
On 6/18/09, the full House of Representatives approved its Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill (HR 2847). The House awarded $45M to Drug Courts and $12M for MIOTCRA. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its bill on 6/25/09 and awarded $40M to Drug Courts and $10M for MIOTCRA.
On 7/24/09, the House approved HR 3293 to fund health, education and labor programs in fiscal 2010 by a vote of 264-153. The bill included $1B for mental health services [$39M more than FY 2009 funding level and $22M more than the President requested] and $2.2B for substance abuse programs.
The DOJ and HHS bills were rolled into the omnibus spending bill (P.L. 111-117). The DOJ appropriations, the drug court program was awarded $45M (up from $40M in FY 2009) and $12M was awarded for MIOTCRA (up from $10M in FY 2009). In the HHS appropriations, increases were awarded for mental health and both substance abuse prevention and treatment. Of note, funding for drug treatment courts was funded at $43.9M (up from $23.9M in FY 2009).