Menendez Announces More Than $5 Million For NJ Local Justice System

Menendez Announces More Than $5 Million For NJ Local Justice System

Washington - Today, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded New Jersey's justice system $5,433,507 in funding through the economic recovery package. These funds, part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program, will be used by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts to increase the efficiency of the probation system, with specific regard to cases involving mental health issues.

"This investment in an efficient justice system, a less costly justice system and a justice system that appropriately deal with mental health conditions," said Sen. Menendez. "By ensuring adult probationers with mental health conditions have access to suitable services and treatment, we are ensuring that cases are properly addressed while helping reduce probationer arrests and custody costs. This funding is particularly important in these stressful economic circumstances, when individuals are more vulnerable to mental health conditions."

"New Jersey Probation Specialized Mental Health Caseload Expansion" project's general objective is to reduce the number of adult probationer arrests and custody costs incurred, increase client access to professional mental health examination and services, and measuring compliance and outcomes in mental health caseloads. This grant will be used to: create 30 probation officer positions to establish adult mental health caseloads, establish collaborative partnerships between probation and community agencies, and reduce the average adult caseloads statewide. Other goals include improving the probation division's mental health supervision.

The Recovery Act Edwards Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program was created with the intention of helping communities improve the capacity of statewide and local justice systems and provide assistance and provide for training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs. One of its initiatives is to provide funding for neighborhood-based probation and parole officers. This grant falls under this category.