18-1.3-101.5. Alternative pilot programs to divert individuals with mental health conditions - legislative intent - eligibility - process of diversion - grant program - program management - definitions - repeal.
(1) The intent of this section is to establish and facilitate five or more pre-plea local-level mental health pilot programs in selected judicial districts that will identify individuals with mental health conditions who have been charged with a low-level criminal offense and divert such individuals out of the criminal justice system and into community treatment programs in accordance with the principles and proposed model recommended by the Colorado commission on criminal and juvenile justice, adopted on January 12, 2018. In addition, proceeding pursuant to the model recommended by the Colorado commission on criminal and juvenile justice encourages and facilitates flexible and locally controlled programs in a manner that can accommodate and respect the availability or limitation of resources in each jurisdiction while still maintaining the core integrity and objectives of the effort to foster the use of mental health diversion programs throughout the state.
(2) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Colorado commission on criminal and juvenile justice" means the commission established pursuant to section 16-11.3-102.
(b) "Grant program" means the mental health criminal justice diversion grant program established pursuant to subsection (6) of this section.
(c) "Low-level criminal offense" means any petty offense or misdemeanor, excluding those offenses enumerated in section 24-4.1-302 (1). "Low-level criminal offense" may also include, if agreed to by the district attorney in a given pilot program site, any class 4, class 5, or class 6 felony or any level 3 or level 4 felony drug offense, excluding any felony offenses enumerated in section 24-4.1-302 (1).
(d) "Pilot program" means any alternative program created pursuant to this section that diverts individuals with mental health conditions into community treatment programs.
(e) "State court administrator" means the state court administrator established pursuant to section 13-3-101.
(3) There are created five or more pilot programs in judicial districts in the state. The state court administrator and the Colorado district attorneys' council shall collaborate to identify potential pilot program sites with the agreement of the elected district attorneys and chief judges in a judicial district. The state court administrator and the Colorado district attorneys' council shall consider geographic diversity in identifying pilot program sites. The purpose of the pilot programs is to identify individuals with mental health conditions who have been charged with a low-level criminal offense and divert such individuals out of the criminal justice system and into community treatment programs. The district attorney and the chief judge for a judicial district selected as a pilot program site pursuant to this subsection (3) shall work collaboratively and through consensus with interested and necessary participants within the judicial district, including but not limited to law enforcement, jail officials, public defenders, judges, pretrial service providers, and local community mental and behavioral health service providers, to decide which courts and counties within the judicial district are best suited to implement the pilot program.
(4) The chief judge or his or her designee of any county or district court where a pilot program is created pursuant to subsection (3) of this section is responsible for establishing and facilitating the pilot program in compliance with the principles and model adopted by the Colorado commission on criminal and juvenile justice on January 12, 2018. The duties of the chief judge with respect to the pilot program may include, but need not be limited to:
(a) Initiating and coordinating organization meetings among the various local entities necessary to the implementation of the pilot program;
(b) Establishing policies for the pilot program;
(c) Facilitating any formal agreements or memoranda of understanding required to create the pilot program;
(d) Brokering services through contracting with local community treatment programs that provide a continuum of community-based mental health care and treatment to accomplish the goals of the pilot program; and
(e) Administering the pilot program once it is implemented.
(5) The state court administrator is responsible for administration and oversight of the pilot programs, including certifying that, on or before January 1, 2021, each pilot program site implements a design that is consistent with the principles and proposed model adopted by the Colorado commission on criminal and juvenile justice and the legislative intent of this section. The duties of the state court administrator with respect to the pilot programs include, but are not limited to:
(a) Establishing pilot program procedures and timelines; and
(b) Establishing grant funding guidelines and acceptable expenses for the distribution of grant program grant money to the pilot program sites based upon specific allocations required by the grant program and other pilot program needs and any other criteria, such as case volume, geographical complexity, and density of need.
(6) There is created in the office of the state court administrator the mental health criminal justice diversion grant program. The state court administrator is responsible for administering and monitoring the grant program, including, but not limited to:
(a) Establishing grant funding guidelines and acceptable expenses for the distribution of grant program grant money to the pilot program sites based upon specific allocations required by the grant program, the specific award to the district attorney's office in each of the designated judicial districts, other pilot program needs, and any other criteria, such as case volume, geographical complexity, and density of need. In addition to any other allowable expenses to be paid for by the grant program, each district attorney's office participating in the pilot program must receive fifty thousand dollars per year from the grant funding for each year of the grant program. Such money must be used to assist in covering the costs related to personnel and administrative requirements to establish and operate pilot programs in the designated judicial districts.
(b) Awarding annual grants to the pilot programs;
(c) Disbursing grant money; except that the state court administrator shall distribute the first round of grant awards on or before January 1, 2019.
(6.5) (a) On or before November 1, 2019, and on or before each November 1 thereafter, the state court administrator shall submit a report to the joint budget committee of the general assembly and to the judiciary committees of the senate and house of representatives, or any successor committees, on the pilot program and the grant program for the preceding state fiscal year. The report must include:
(I) A description of the programs, including eligibility criteria, screening and assessment processes, and differences among judicial districts;
(II) A discussion of problems and obstacles the programs are encountering;
(III) Nonidentifying demographic information on individuals evaluated and participants enrolled in the programs, including age, gender, race, and ethnicity;
(IV) Participant status, including the number of individuals who successfully completed the programs; the number of participants remaining in the programs; the number of participants terminated from the grant program, and the primary reasons for termination; and the average duration of stay in the programs;
(V) An accounting of expenditures under the grant program, including the costs of the state court administrator; and
(VI) Information regarding the adequacy of and need for money to cover district attorney program-related personnel and administrative costs, including the nature of such costs and the extent of any program-related prosecutorial cost savings.
(b) In addition to the information required in subsection (6.5)(a) of this section, the report due on or before November 1, 2021, must also include an evaluation component with recommendations for best practices, including target populations, participant treatment and oversight, funding, and any proposed revisions to the model recommended by the Colorado commission on criminal and juvenile justice.
(7) This section is repealed, effective June 30, 2022.
Source: L. 2018: Entire section added, (SB 18-249), ch. 320, p. 1921, 1, effective May 30. L. 2019: (6)(a), (6)(b), and (7) amended and (6.5) added, (SB 19-211), ch. 119, p. 499, 1, effective April 16. L. 2020: (1), (3), IP(5), and (6)(a) amended, (HB 20-1393), ch. 212, p. 1028, 1, effective June 30.