The act establishes the early intervention, deflection, and redirection from the criminal justice system grant program (grant program) in the behavioral health administration (BHA) to provide grants to fund programs and strategies that prevent people with behavioral health needs from becoming involved with the criminal justice system or that redirect individuals in the criminal justice system with behavioral health needs from the system to appropriate services.
Local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, hospitals, health-care providers, and community-based organizations are eligible for a grant; local law enforcement agencies are eligible for a grant only for the purpose of developing or expanding a co-responder community response program. In order to receive a grant, an applicant must offer a monetary contribution or in-kind contributions that directly support the services provided with the grant award. The BHA may waive the monetary or in-kind contribution requirement for applicants requesting a grant of less than $50,000.
The BHA administers the grant program in consultation with the department of public safety. The act establishes a review committee to review grant applications and make recommendations to the BHA and department of public safety about which applicants should receive grants and the amount of each grant. After receiving and reviewing recommendations from the review committee and after consultation with the department of public safety, the BHA shall award grants. Each grant recipient must report to the BHA information about the use of the grant. The bill requires the general assembly to appropriate $50.7 million from the behavioral and mental health cash fund to the department of human services for the grant program.
The act requires the general assembly to appropriate $3 million from the behavioral and mental health cash fund to the department of corrections (department) to provide medication-assisted treatment to individuals who are placed in the custody of the department. The department shall use the money for upgrades necessary to store medications at department facilities, for providing continuity of care for inmates with a substance use disorder between institutional settings and community-based treatment, and for facilitating long-term treatment and recovery of individuals upon release.
The act requires the general assembly to appropriate $4 million from the behavioral and mental health cash fund to the judicial department for allocation to district attorneys for pretrial diversion programs. The judicial department is required to allocate $1.8 million of the money to recipients that provide diversion for individuals with behavioral health disorders. A district attorney who receives funding for a pretrial diversion program is required report the number of people screened for and referred to behavioral health treatment.
The act creates the behavioral health information and data sharing program to award grants to counties to integrate the county jails' data systems with the Colorado integrated criminal justice information system. The division of criminal justice (division) within the department of public safety administers the program. The division is required to collaborate with the office of information technology to oversee the implementation of data-sharing systems or software necessary to exchange information with the Colorado integrated criminal justice information system. The act requires the general assembly to appropriate $3.5 million from the behavioral and mental health cash fund for the program.
The act requires the state department of health care policy and financing (HCPF) to evaluate and determine whether the state should seek additional federal authority to provide screening, brief intervention, and care coordination services through the medical assistance program to persons immediately prior to release from jail or a department of corrections facility and to improve processes for determining and redetermining individuals for medical assistance eligibility. If HCPF determines that the state should request federal authority, HCPF must make the request and, if the requested federal authority is granted, provide the benefits. If HCPF determines that the state should not request federal authority, HCPF must submit a report to the joint budget committee of the general assembly that includes an alternate plan to ensure continuity of care for individuals being released from jail or prison.
The act requires HCPF to determine whether federal authority is necessary to provide benefit coverage under the medical assistance program to people who are on work release from jail.
The act requires each county jail to report quarterly about the number of inmates whose medicaid is suspended while incarcerated and the number of incarcerated inmates who are enrolled in, or whose medicaid is reinstated, prior to release. The act requires a county jail to provide medicaid enrollment or re-enrollment paperwork to a person who is incarcerated in the jail and is eligible for medicaid benefits when the person enters the county jail.
The act requires an administrator of a community corrections program to partner with a county department of human or social services to facilitate enrolling each offender participating in the program into medicaid.
The act makes the following appropriations from the behavioral and mental health cash fund:
- $50.7 million to the department of human services for use by the BHA for the grant program;
- $4 million to the judicial department for adult district attorney pretrial diversion programs;
- $3.5 million to the department of public safety for behavioral health information and data sharing grants, of which, $1,760,709 is reappropriated to the office of information technology; and
- $3 million to the department of corrections for its mental health subprogram.
The act appropriates $81,164 from the general fund to the department of health care policy and financing.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)