Program to aid convicts honored for expanding mental health services
The Kankakee County Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMH) received the William H. Morgan Annual Memorial Award on Friday morning in recognition of the unique mental health services it provides to convicts in transition.
JMH provides support for people moving through the justice system who have identified mental disorders and helps them find their way back into society.
“Due to the lack of mental health institutions in Illinois, there are rising numbers of individuals coming through the local criminal justice system who have a mental illness/substance abuse disorder," Kankakee County Sheriff Tim Bukowski said. "The Kankakee County Renewed Opportunity and the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office worked together to finalize and implement a program (JMH) that works to empower and advocate individuals as they strive to accomplish their goals. JMH provides wrap-around services for clients in order to maximize their chances of successful reintegration into the community and ultimately reduce recidivism rates within the county of Kankakee.”
The JMH program plans to expand its services even further by the end of this year, the sheriff's office said. It will offer inmates training on navigating the world after their release and also create a problem-solving and social skills curriculum, with funding from the Kankakee Mental Health Council.
Kankakee County Renewed Opportunity is a nonprofit organization that works with the Kankakee Sheriff's Department to reduce recidivism in the county.