Florida Criminal Justice, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Technical Assistance Center (JEHT Foundation)

About the Project

Creation of a web site for the TA Center. It is essential for grantees and others to be able to retrieve information quickly and reliably about best practices, services of the TA Center, on-line training, and other resources that may be available within Florida and nationally.


Creation of web-based training for mental health and criminal justice professionals. Mental health and substance use professionals are asked increasingly to work with clients who are involved with the criminal justice system. Yet such professionals rarely receive any training regarding the criminal justice system. Similarly, many criminal justice professionals now work with individuals with serious mental disorders, yet training on mental disorders is seldom available. We will develop web-based training modules to meet these needs. 

Provide consultation to local governments regarding data system issues. Many of the TA Center’s functions require data analysis. We propose to work with the Council to provide a template for data collection (what types of data should be collected that are relevant to planning and implementing grant initiatives; for the creation of good data systems; and ultimately for uploading data directly to the TA Center for analysis).

Development of a cost model for use in assessing the impact of grantee interventions. While public policy gets made for any number of reasons, a frequently asked question is whether an intervention is cost effective. Yet there are few good cost studies in the area of mental disorder and criminal justice, in part because of the comparative absence of good models for measuring and assessing cost. The task is complicated by the number of entities that might be involved in attempting a specific intervention, for example when the object of the intervention is to reduce the use of jails (as it is here), because those different entities may have varying definitions and expectations regarding the costs and benefits of a specific intervention. We will take work that has been done in this area, for example, in the State of Washington, and refine it to create a cost model that can be applied in assessing interventions funded by these grants. We propose to do this by using FMHI faculty (which includes an economist) in conjunction with individuals who have experimented with various cost models nationally.

Development of local technical assistance experts. The TA center will be available to grantees for on-site community collaboration building, system mapping, strategic planning and program evaluation.

Principal Investigator

John Petrila, JD, LLM

Affiliated Research Faculty / Staff

Mark A. Engelhardt, MS, MSW, ACSW

Funding Agency

JEHT Foundation


11/01/2008 - 06/30/2013