Drug Courts, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health

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Issue: Drug Courts, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health


Some of the grant programs can be used to support state courts efforts.


State courts support full funding for these programs, encourage federal entities to funnel federal funds through the highest judicial authority of the states and territories, and support the Administration’s proposal to establish a problem-solving courts grant program.  (CCJ/COSCA Resolution 09-A-3, CCJ/COSCA Resolution 11-A-12, COSCA Resolution 12-M-5, and  CCJ Resolution 13-M-7


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). 

DOJ Grant Programs – (1) Drug Courts and (2) Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA)  

HHS Grant Programs – (1) Mental Health Services Programs of Regional and National Significance (jail diversion) and (2) Substance Abuse Treatment Programs of Regional and National Significance (criminal justice activities/substance abuse treatment courts).


The history of the relevant funding has been as follows.





Mental Health

Jail Diversion

Substance Abuse Treatment Courts






$41 M

$8.25 M

$4.8 M

$75 M

$4 M

$4 M


$41 M

$9 M

$4.27 M

$78 M

$5 M

$4 M


$42 M

$10 M

$4.2 M

$78 M

$5 M

$4 M


$43 M

$12 M

$4.2 M

$78 M

$7 M

$4 M

 The President’s FY 2016 request included $36M for drug courts, $14M for MIOTCRA, $10M for Project HOPE, $4.27M for the Mental Health Jail Diversion program, and $61.9M for Criminal Justice Activities, such as drug treatment courts. 

The FY 2016 omnibus bill (
P.L. 114-113) included the following.

  • Drug Courts - $42M ­­
  • MIOTCRA - $10M
  • Veterans Treatment Courts - $6M
  • Project Hope - $4M

Preliminarily, the above programs get level funding or increases in the ongoing FY2017 funding cycle. On 7/14/16, the Congress passed S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA), which authorizes a number of measures to combat the opioid epidemic including new specialty court grants to state/local governments. On 7/22/16, S. 524 was signed by the President making it PL 114-198.  

A year-end CR extended FY 2016 spending levels until April 2017.

President Trump signed HR 244 (PL-115-31) the Omnibus Appropriations Act, which finished the FY17 funding cycle.  Overall most programs fared well.  Examples: Drug Courts got $43M, and Veterans Courts got $7M.  These amounts are increases over FY16.   President Trump unveiled his FY18 budget on 5/22/17.  Most programs suffer slight cuts or remain steady.  The House and Senate Appropriations Committee have weighed in on funding amounts. Examples: Drug Courts ($43M Both House/Senate), MIOTRA ($12M Both), HOPE ($0=House, $4M=Senate).

The Acting Director of ONDCP has called for increased use of Naloxone, Narcam and Medically Assisted Treatment to help address the opioid crisis.