Developing a commission to raise public awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues in Iowa's corrections system

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that well over a quarter of a million American prison inmates suffer from serious mental illnesses. The Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC) faces its own crisis with a high percentage of the prison population suffering from schizophrenia, substance abuse problems, depression, and ADHD. Once inmates are a part of the criminal justice system they lose eligibility for SSI or Medicaid, which makes receiving treatment and medication more difficult. Because of the prohibitively expensive cost to the state, most of these offenders serve their sentence without the treatment or medication they need. Moreover, they are released back into the community with limited resources available to them. The Cedar Rapids DOC will undertake a statewide public education effort to begin to put this issue on the public's agenda and inform decision makers of its impact on communities. Specifically, this grant will support a series of public hearings to be convened across the state to inform the public and solicit community input into developing state solutions. This project will be considered successful if model communities and model programs are identified to implement these proposed solutions on a larger scale, as measured by public awareness, the survey instrument, and public hearings.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $50,000.00

Awarded on: 4/23/2001

Time frame: 5/1/2001 - 11/30/2001

Grant Number: 41849


Community Corrections Improvement Association

951 29th Avenue S.W.
Cedar Rapids, 52404-3414


Gerald R. Hinzman
Project Director