Offender Behavioral Health Services (formerly known as SB-97)

 

The goal of Offender Behavioral Health Services (OBHS) is to address Colorado's continued growth in the demand for community-based mental health services for individuals with mental illness involved in local and state criminal justice systems.

Through funds authorized by the Colorado General Assembly the CDHS Office of Behavioral Health funds behavioral health (including mental health and substance user disorder) service programs for juvenile and adult offenders with mental health problems who are involved in the criminal justice system.


Program Requirements

Funded agencies are required to meet one of the guidelines below:

  1. The place of service will be prisons, jails or community corrections facilities. In this case, programs can look at offering in-reach services in these institutions to assist in transition to the community.
  2. The program builds capacity for the treatment services needed by specialty courts in the region (to include Mental Health, Drug, Family or Veterans courts). The actual treatment services would be reimbursed by Medicaid or other funding sources, the Offender Mental Health Service Initiative funds would cover the costs not reimbursed by other funding streams. CMHCs may look at assisting specialty courts in achieving fidelity by offering evidence based services as defined by national standards for the type of specialty court.
  3. Develop partnerships with law enforcement agencies to create Co-Responder programs with clinical staff assisting with crisis intervention and diversion of individuals to required treatment services in the community. Agencies may create resources and/or services frequently needed by individuals being diverted from the criminal justice system.
  4. Develop partnerships to provide services in community corrections facilities or offer continuity of care for clients on Community Corrections.
  5. For juvenile services, programs may look at the array of referral sources which include juvenile assessment centers, detention facilities, problem-solving courts, municipal courts, schools and probation.
Offender Behavioral Health Programs across Colorado and populations served

The table below shows the type of service and population served by the Offender Behavioral Health Programs across the State:

CMHC Region Served Type of Program Population Served
All Health Arapahoe and Douglas Counties Co-Responder programs at: Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrol Division, Littleton Police Department, and Parker Police Department Adult and Juvenile
Aspen Pointe El Paso County Jail Diversion and Transitional Services Adult male and female
Axis Health Systems Durango Jail Transitional Services Adult male and female
Aurora Mental Health Center Adams and Arapahoe Counties Jail Re-Entry In-reach and treatment services Arapahoe Diverts the Mentally Ill to Treatment (ADMIT) Adult male
Centennial Mental Health Center Logan Regional Care Manager/Clinicians for criminal justice referrals Adult male and female
Center for Mental Health (Midwestern) Montrose and Delta Jail based services for individuals with mental illness diagnosis
Co-responder clinicians for Delta and Montrose counties
Adult male and female
Community Reach Center Adams County Jail Diversion and Court Evaluations Adult male and female
Health Solutions Pueblo County Co-Responder program at Pueblo County Sheriff Patrol Division
Re-entry coordinator at jail
Adult male and female
Jefferson Center for Mental Health Jefferson County Youth Outpatient: Brady Exploration School and JCMH Remington Building Juveniles up to age 18
Co-Responder programs at: Arvada Police Department and Lakewood Police Department Adult male and female
Mental Health Partners Boulder County Court Evaluations Adult male and female
Mental Health Center of Denver Denver County Co-Responder Services at Denver Sheriff's Department Adult male and female
Youth-School Based Juveniles up to age 18
Mind Springs Health Eagle, Mesa and Summit Counties Drug Court clinician at Summit County Adult male and female
Mesa County Truancy Court case manager Juveniles up to age 18
North Range Behavioral Health Weld County Treatment capacity for Family Problem Solving Court Adult male and female
San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group Alamosa Treatment capacity for Family Drug Court, DUI court and Adult Drug Court Adult male and female
Solvista Health Lake, Chaffee, Custer and Fremont Jail diversion and wrap around recovery support Adult male and female
Southeast Health Group Otero Care coordinator for law enforcement referrals at Regional Assessment Center Adult male and female
Summit Stone Health Partners Larimer County Outpatient Re-Entry and Jail Diversion Adult male and female

 

   

Frequently Asked Questions

 

►What is Offender Behavioral Health Services?
Offender Behavioral Health Services (OBHS) are funds that go towards programs across the state to serve individuals- youth and adults, who have behavioral health issues and are either involved or at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. Through funds authorized by the Colorado General Assembly, the Office of Behavioral Health provides funding to Community Mental Health Centers to provide these services. Each funded program is unique and tailored to the community's needs.

►What kind of programs does OBHS fund?
Funded agencies are required to meet one of the guidelines below:

  1. Prison, jail and community corrections facilities: Programs offer in-reach services in these institutions to assist with transition to the community. Some programs also offer brief mental health treatment in the jail setting.
  2. Community Corrections facilities: In addition to transition assistance and in each, programs may also develop partnerships to provide services in community corrections facilities or offer continuity of care for clients in community corrections.
  3. Specialty Courts: The program builds capacity for the treatment services needed by specialty courts in the region (to include Mental Health, Drug, Family or Veterans courts). Because the actual treatment services are reimbursed by Medicaid or other funding sources, the OBHS funds cover the costs not reimbursed by other funding streams. Programs may assist specialty courts in achieving fidelity by offering evidence based services as defined by national standards for the type of specialty court.
  4. Co-Responder Programs: Programs develop partnerships with law enforcement agencies to create Co-Responder programs with clinical staff assisting with crisis intervention and diversion of individuals to needed treatment services in the community. Agencies may create resources and/or services frequently needed by individuals being diverted from the criminal justice system.
  5. Juvenile Justice Services: Programs may provide services that work in conjunction with an array of referral sources including juvenile assessment centers, detention facilities, problem-solving courts, municipal courts, schools and probation.

►What kind of services do OBHS funded programs offer?
The exact services vary by agency and program, but generally OBHS funded programs offer the following services:

  • Jail and detention facility treatment, in-reach and transitional release services
  • Psychiatric services
  • Therapy (individual and/or group)
  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Case management and care coordination
  • Peer support services
  • Specialty court support and services
  • Co-responder services and partnerships
  • Criminal and juvenile justice systems navigation

►What agencies receive this OBHS funding?
Currently, the 17 Community Mental Health Centers throughout Colorado receive OBHS funding.

►Can my agency apply for the OBHS funding?
If funding becomes available to other agencies outside of Community Mental Health Centers, the funds would be awarded through a competitive bidding process. Generally, the State announces funding opportunities and uses Colorado VSS to post solicitations.

How do the Community Mental Health Centers use the funding?
This too varies by agency, but most agencies use the funding to help support the staffing needs of the agency. After Medicaid was expanded in the State of Colorado, many individuals were able to get health coverage. At that time, the use of the OBHS funding shifted from funding services for people who are "indigent' to funding the staff needed to provide the services.

►How is OBHS funded?
The funds are authorized through the Colorado General Assembly and are allocated from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund. (SB 17-264, C.R.S. 39-28.8-501 (2018)). Total amount allocated is $5,509,159.

►What are the goals of OBHS?
The goals of OBHS are to reduce recidivism of individuals with behavioral health issues who are in the justice system, identify and reduce costs associated with incarceration and to increase access to behavioral health services.

►I would like to enroll in services, or I would like to get help for a loved one, how can I do that?
Each program is unique to the community they serve. In order to get services, for yourself or someone else, it is best to contact the Community Mental Health Center in your area to find out more about the services offered.

►I would like to work for one of the OBHS programs, who should I contact?
Whether you're interested in a paid position, an internship or volunteer opportunities, you should look at your local Community Mental Health Center's website or contact your local Community Mental Health Center to ask about current opportunities.

►What is the difference between Jail Based Behavioral Health Services and OBHS?
While some areas have both programs, the Jail Based Behavioral Health Services (JBBS) specifically serves individuals who have substance use disorders, who are currently in a county jail. For more information on JBBS, you can visit the Jail Based Behavioral Health Services page. In some communities, JBBS and OBHS work together to provide a continuum of care from incarceration to the community.