FCSO Recipient Of $532,000 Grant For Mental Health Program

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Bunnell, FL - The Flagler County Sheriff's Office is the recipient of a $532,000 grant from the U.S. Justice Department, Bureau of Justice Assistance. 

FCSO was one of only three Sheriff’s Offices selected from across the country. The money will be used to"support a collaborative approach to improve responses and outcomes for adults with mental illness, substance abuse, and related disorders who enter the criminal justice system."

The grant was applied for early in 2020, said Sheriff Rick Staly, "before the call for police reforms which often highlight and focus on police response to crisis and addiction intervention." He says the grant will allow effective training, timely screening for mental illness and substance abuse, evidence-based treatment, and case management for individuals involved in the criminal justice system.

“It’s clear that Flagler County has an urgent need to prevent, reduce, and treat those with mental
health and substance abuse problems. Left untreated, the end results can become suicide, arrests for criminal acts and jail time,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “A failed national policy shift decades ago has made county jails defacto mental health and addiction treatment wards, usually without any real treatment. Partnering with a research team from UNF and a treatment provider, this grant will enable us to design and implement a program in the jail for our inmate population that needs mental health or substance abuse treatment while in the jail and after their release. The key to success is aftercare so the treatment does not end when someone is released from jail.”

This means that inmates at the Flagler County Jail will be eligible for mental health and substance abuse treatment from a certified mental health/substance abuse clinician embedded in the jail. The program will have a local service provider to ensure a continuum of care after an inmate is released from jail.

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