Connect and Protect: Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Responses

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)


    The Department of Justice is committed to advancing work that promotes civil rights, increases access to justice, supports crime victims, protects the public from crime and evolving threats, and builds trust between law enforcement and the community.

    The Connect and Protect: Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Response Program is part of the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). It is designated to support law enforcement–behavioral health cross-system collaboration and to improve public safety responses and outcomes for individuals with mental illness (MI) or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse (CMISA) who come into contact with the criminal justice system. BJA is seeking applicants to design or enhance a law enforcement–behavioral health response to people with MI and CMISA who come into contact with law enforcement due to their illness.

    The objectives of the program are to:

    • Design and implement a crisis response program based on current best practice to assist law enforcement officers to improve encounters with individuals who have MHDs or co-occurring MHSUDs. These could include any of the following:
      • Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT)
      • Co-Responder Teams
      • Law Enforcement-based Case Management Services
      • Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD)
      • Mobile Crisis Teams
      • Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams
      • EMS and Ambulance-based Responses 
    • Plan and deliver a crisis response program, through coordination between law enforcement and a mental health agency, that includes services to improve or enhance the response.
    • Pay salaries, as well as expenses such as training (overtime) and coordination activities, to design and implement a police-mental health collaboration program (PMHC).
    • Engage residents through outreach and education to improve public health and public safety.
    • Build positive community relations and trust through public communication strategies.
    • Enhance officer knowledge and skills in responding to community members with MHDs or co-occurring MHSUDs.
    • Increase public safety and public health agencies' capacity to develop and sustain the program by collecting data to inform practices, create stakeholder groups, develop policy, and encourage ongoing professional development.
    • Seek guidance through BJA's 14 law enforcement-mental health learning sites, then incorporate and build upon successful strategies for PMHCs. 

    History of Funding

    Approximately $15,000,000 was available in FY2022 for 27 awards.

    Additional Information

    In FY 2023, priority consideration will be given to applications that:

    • Promote effective strategies by law enforcement to identify and reduce the risk of harm to individuals with MHDs or co-occurring MHSUDs who encounter law enforcement and improve public safety;
    • Promote effective strategies for the identification and treatment of females who have been incarcerated with MHDs or co-occurring MHSUDs;
    • Propose interventions that have been shown by empirical evidence to reduce recidivism. When appropriate, use validated assessment tools to target people who have been incarcerated with a moderate or high risk of recidivism and a need for treatment services. 

    Ineligible costs include:

    • Prizes, rewards, entertainment, trinkets, or any other monetary incentives;
    • Client stipends;
    • Gift cards;
    • Vehicle purchases;
    • Food and beverages.


    National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center

    National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center
    Bureau of Justice Assistance
    810 Seventh Street NW
    Washington, DC 20531
    (800) 851-3420
    (301) 240-5830

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants are City or township governments, County governments, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Public and State controlled institutions of higher education, State governments, and mental health agencies.

    Deadline Details

    Applicants were to submit SF-424 and the SF-LLL in by 8:59 PM EST by April 24, 2023. The full application was be submitted in JustGrants by 8:59 PM EST on May 01, 2023. A similar timeline is anticipated annually.

    Award Details

    Up to $17,000,000.00 is available in total funding for FY23. Awards amounts vary. Maximum award is $550,000. Approximately 30 awards will be granted. Project period is up to 36 months beginning on October 1, 2023. This solicitation requires a 20 percent cash and/or in-kind match in years 1 and 2, and a 40 percent cash and/or in-kind match in year 3.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • New Funding Opportunities for K-12 School Safety - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available
    • Funding to Address High Crime Areas within Your Community - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available
    • Funding to Enhance Response, Investigation, and Prosecution of Domestic Violence - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available


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