Article - Health - General
(a) There is a Maryland Behavioral Health and Public Safety Center of Excellence in the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services.
(b) The purposes of the Center are to:
(1) Act as the statewide information repository for behavioral health treatment and diversion programs related to the criminal justice system;
(2) Lead the development of a strategic plan to increase treatment and reduce the detention of individuals with behavioral health disorders involved in the criminal justice system;
(3) Provide technical assistance to local governments for developing effective behavioral health systems of care that prevent and minimize involvement with the criminal justice system for individuals with behavioral health disorders;
(4) Facilitate local or regional planning workshops using the Sequential Intercept Model;
(5) Coordinate with the Department and the Behavioral Health Administration to implement and track the progress of creating an effective behavioral health system of care in the State relating to individuals involved in the criminal justice system; and
(6) Identify and inform any relevant stakeholders of any federal funding available to the Center to carry out the mission of the Center, including through the provision of grants, scholarships, and other funding to recipients engaged in training, the provision of services, or the study of matters relating to behavioral health, public safety, and criminal justice.
(c) In carrying out its duties, the Center shall continuously monitor and analyze its models, plans, policies, strategies, programs, technical assistance, and training for their validity and for opportunities to reduce and eliminate disparities in the criminalization of racial minorities with behavioral health disorders and increase access to culturally competent care.
(d) (1) The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services shall appoint the following individuals to jointly oversee the Center:
(i) A crisis intervention law enforcement coordinator;
(ii) A mental health coordinator; and
(iii) Any other individuals determined necessary by the Office.
(2) The individuals appointed under paragraph (1) of this subsection may be associated with the Crisis Intervention Team Center of Excellence within the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services.
(e) The Center may designate points of contact throughout the State who specialize in behavioral health treatment within the criminal justice system to brief the Center on the progress of statewide implementation of diversion programs.
(f) The Center may coordinate with the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board and other State entities working to reduce State and local detention facility populations and recidivism.
(g) (1) The Center may enter into contracts with the University of Maryland System, Maryland HBCUs, or other entities or organizations for the purposes of carrying out its mission.
(2) For fiscal year 2024 and each fiscal year thereafter, the Governor shall include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $500,000 for the Center to enter into contracts for the purposes of carrying out its mission, including:
(i) Facilitating the gathering of information from all counties in the State;
(ii) Supporting local or regional planning workshops; and
(iii) Supporting the purposes of the Center established under subsection (b) of this section.
(h) The operation of the Center is subject to the limitations of the State budget.