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PORTLAND, Maine: U.S. Attorney Halsey Frank today announced that the Department of Justice is providing Penobscot County with $750,000 in grants to support adult and juvenile justice initiatives designed to reduce crime and recidivism associated with mental illness and co-occurring disorders.

Provided through the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the funding supports efforts that establish collaborative anti-recidivism comprehensive care before, during, and after incarceration for persons with serious mental illness. The funding also supports training and technical assistance to law enforcement, other criminal justice agencies and their partner mental health and substance abuse authorities to improve outcomes for youth with mental illness or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.

“I believe this funding will be of tremendous value to law enforcement in Penobscot County, the judicial system, and those who are coping with mental illness,” U.S. Attorney Frank said. “Too often, those who could have been helped with early mental health treatment find themselves intertwined with our legal system. Hopefully, this funding will make a difference.”

“More and more people with mental illness are coming into contact with the criminal justice system, straining law enforcement resources and placing exceptional demands on our jails and prisons,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “By supporting partnerships between justice system professionals and treatment providers, we are making substantial investments in addressing the link between mental health and public safety.”

For a complete list of individual grant programs, award amounts and jurisdictions that will receive funding, click here. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years

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