Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) participated in the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center's Congressional Briefing on "How Three Communities Are Supporting Mental Health and Decreasing Justice System Involvement Through Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP)." During his appearance, Congressman Emmer discussed his support for a letter he sent along with 57 of his colleagues for continued funding of the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) in the FY2022 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
"Individuals struggling with mental health challenges deserve treatment, but oftentimes access to the necessary care is unavailable. This program offers solutions in order for our society to start offering treatment instead of incarceration to those in dire need," said Emmer.
"The funding to train law enforcement on how to identify and improve their response to individuals in crisis is critical, as is the funding to provide mental health and substance abuse treatment for those who are incarcerated or attempting to re-enter our communities. This program has already produced amazing results and improved the way our justice system and law enforcement interface with individuals in a mental health crisis," Emmer concluded.
Watch Rep. Emmer's remarks to the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center here.
The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) was first enacted in 2004 and reauthorized in 2008, and again in the 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law on December 13, 2016. Congressman Emmer supported the 21st Century Cures Act. The program provides states and local governments with necessary resources to plan and implement initiatives for people with mental illnesses involved with the criminal justice system. These initiatives increase public safety, reduce state and local spending, and improve the lives of people with mental illnesses and their families. MIOTCRA supports innovative approaches and programs that bring together mental health and criminal justice.
The letter was sent to Chairman Cartwright and Ranking Member Aderholt of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies which has jurisdiction over the funding. To date, MIOTCRA has provided a total of 568 grants to 49 states, plus the District of Columbia, Guam, and American Samoa.
Read the letter here.