The Mental Health caseload is designed to meet the needs of offenders with mental health/mental retardation issues that meet priority population criteria as defined in the CJAD – Diversion Program Special Grant Conditions for Mental Health Initiative Caseloads. It is intended for people with overt psychiatric diagnosis such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or those with a GAF level of 50 or below. This caseload shall be limited to 40 offenders and will target high and medium risk/needs felony offenders who have special needs due to mental impairment. High and medium risk/needs misdemeanor cases shall be served only on a limited and space available basis, not to exceed 10% of the offenders served on the caseload at any given time. Minimum risk/needs level offenders are not eligible for services. This caseload is DP funded, and works in cooperation with the Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA) of Williamson County known as Bluebonnet Trails.
A psychiatric evaluation will be conducted on the offender to determine the need for participation in the Mental Health Caseload. A psychiatric evaluation will be required after entrance into the program, if one has not been done prior to entering this program. All offenders must be court ordered onto this caseload and must meet priority population criteria.
Supervision and monitoring of these offenders is a collaborative effort between the Mental Health CSO and the offender’s assigned caseworker and/or treatment provider. Offenders will be required to attend counseling sessions as required and to take any medication that is prescribed to them by a psychiatrist or physician related to their diagnosed disorder. Evaluation/Treatment referrals shall be made for those offenders who abuse alcohol or drugs. Offenders shall also be subjected to the programming that addresses the offender’s criminogenic needs.
Once an offender is accepted in the program, they will be supervised at a high/medium level of supervision and in accordance with TDCJ-CJAD Standards on Direct Supervision and the Mental Health Initiative Caseload Special Grant Conditions. While some offenders will remain on this caseload until the completion of their supervision term, some offenders who’s progress has been staffed with a LMHA caseworker and or other treatment provider, are stabilized and have remained compliant, may be allowed to transition to the department’s newly created Special Needs Caseload or a regular caseload. The offenders who enter the Special Needs Caseload will continue to be monitored and supervised by an officer highly trained in working with this population in keeping with TDCJ-CJAD Standards on Direct Supervision.