Figure: 37 TAC §159.3(b)

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Between the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
the Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
and Community Supervision and Corrections Departments

For the purpose of establishing a continuity of care system for offenders with mental illness or mental retardation (mental impairments); the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ); Department of State Health Services (DSHS); and local Community Supervision and Corrections Departments (CSCDs) (The Entities) agree to the following:

1. AUTHORITY AND PURPOSE:

Texas Health and Safety Code, §614.013 authorizes TDCJ, DSHS, local MHMR authorities, and CSCDs to establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that identifies methods for:

2. ALL ENTITIES AGREE TO:

a) Follow the statutory provisions in Chapter 614 of the Health and Safety Code relating to the exchange of information (including electronic) about offenders with mental impairments or mental retardation for the purpose of providing or coordinating services among the Entities; and when appropriate include such requirements in any relevant rules, policies or contract/grants.

b) Develop rules, policies, procedures, regulations or standards that describe the agency’s role and responsibility in the continuity of care process for persons with mental impairments and/or mental retardation.

c) Develop procedures that provide for the preparation and sharing of assessments or diagnostics prior to the imposition of community supervision, incarceration, or parole, and the transfer of such diagnostics between local and state entities described in this agreement.

d) Participate in cross training or educational events targeted for improving each agency's knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice, and MHMRA systems’ roles and responsibilities.

e) Inform each other of any proposed policy, procedure, standard or rule changes which could affect the continuity of care system with each agency afforded thirty (30) days after receipt of proposed change(s) to respond to the recommendations prior to the adoption.

f) Provide written status reports to TCOOMMI on the implementation of initiatives outlined in this MOU on a routine basis, but not less than once a year.

g) Actively seek federal funds to operate or expand the service capability to include local and state criminal justice entities contracting with the public mental health system for the purpose of maximizing Medicaid and other entitlements.

3. TDCJ THROUGH ITS DIVISIONS SHALL:

a) Cross reference offender database to the CARE system and make information available to the CSCDs on a monthly basis.

b) Develop standards for specialized mental health caseloads and provide training/technical assistance to specialized officers on a routine basis.

c) Establish a process for cross-referencing data on CID inmates with the DSHS CARE system on a weekly basis. This process will include an internal mechanism for distributing the information to the appropriate division(s), contract entities or other providers as deemed necessary and allowed by law.

d) Develop a process to ensure that any psychiatric, diagnostic or treatment information pertaining to offenders will be provided to relevant local and state criminal justice, mental health or other contract providers prior to release from custody.

e) Ensure that offenders being released from institutional facilities have access to a ten-day supply of medications upon their release.

f) Establish an internal procedure in cooperation with TCOOMMI to review Motion to Revoke cases (blue warrants) involving any parolee with a mental impairment. This review will address interventions that have been made or should be made prior to final revocation action.

g) Report implementation activities to TCOOMMI on a quarterly basis.

4. DSHS SHALL:

a) Develop, in cooperation with TCOOMMI, continuity of care rules specific to juveniles or adults with mental impairments and/or mental retardation who are involved in the criminal justice system.

b) Notify in accordance with DSHS Rules, the local mental health authority and TCOOMMI, of a 46.B defendant’s release from a state facility to the committing jurisdiction after restoration of competency has been determined.

c) Include in the performance contract requirements for local MHMR authorities to adhere to and implement the activities outlined in the MOU, including statutory provisions specific to sharing of information, and cross-referencing data with local and state correctional, juvenile justice and criminal justice entities.

d) Respond to TDCJ’s weekly data requests to cross-reference offender data to the CARE system and provide match information within 7 days.

e) Provide quarterly reports to TCOOMMI on the status of MOU implementation activities.

5. COMMUNITY SUPERVISION AND CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES:

a) Submit to the local MHMR Authorities a list of offenders who are being supervised (i.e., pre-trial, if applicable; deferred adjudication or placed on community supervision) by the department on a schedule mutually agreed upon by the department and the local MHMR authority.  The initial list submitted should include all offenders on some form of supervision in order to establish a baseline. All lists thereafter will consist of new and/or deleted cases during the period being reported.

b) Facilitate the coordination of supervision with local MHMR authorities or other treatment providers. This will include:

c) Provide technical assistance and training to local MHMR staff on criminal justice issues specific to community supervision.

d) Participate in quarterly meetings with the MHMR Executive Director(s) and/or his/her designee to review the implementation of MOU activities and to document status.

e) Contract with the local MHMR authorities for mental health/mental retardation assessments or other treatment services in order to minimize duplication of effort and maximize Medicaid or other federal benefits.

6. DSHS WILL REQUIRE THE LOCAL MHMR AUTHORITIES THROUGH THE PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS TO PERFORM THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES:

a) Provide to the CSCD the name of the designated staff member who serves as the contact for all criminal justice referrals and other related issues (i.e., obtaining client information, records or assessments).

b) Facilitate the coordination of supervision with the CSCD personnel that will include:

c) Establish a process for cross-referencing probation and/or local inmate jail lists with the DSHS CARE system. Progress toward or obstacles to complying with this MOU activity will be reported to TCOOMMI with an explanation of obstacles and recommendations for correction. If a process cannot be established electronically, an alternative should be developed that will establish a referral and reporting system between the center and local CSCDs and jails in their catchment area.

d) Coordinate with the jail on those persons incarcerated who have been returned to the local jail under a Section 46.B, Code of Criminal Procedure commitment, in accordance with TCOOMMI contract requirements with the local MHMR authority.

e) Designate a continuity of care contact person for all 46.B commitments to serve as the primary liaison between local MHMR authorities, jails and TCOOMMI.

f) Participate in quarterly meetings with the CSCD Director or his/her designee to review the implementation of MOU activities and to document status.

g) Offer or provide technical assistance and training to the CSCD and other criminal justice entities (pre-trial, jail, courts) on mental health and related issues.

h) Provide written quarterly reports to TCOOMMI and the DSHS governing body on the implementation and status of MOU activities as outlined in this section. These reports will satisfy reporting requirements in Section 2 of this MOU.

7. REVIEW AND MONITORING:

a) This MOU shall be adopted by the Department of State Health Services, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and local CSCDs. Subsequent to adoption, all parties must provide status reports to TCOOMMI. Amendments to this MOU may be made at any time by mutual agreement of the parties.

b) TCOOMMI will serve as the dispute resolution mechanism for conflicts concerning this MOU at both the local and statewide level.

c) TCOOMMI, in coordination with each state agency identified, shall develop a standardized process for collecting and reporting the MOU implementation outcomes by local and state criminal justice agencies and local mental health or mental retardation authorities. The findings of these reports shall be submitted to TCOOMMI by September 1 of each even-numbered year and shall be included in recommendations to the legislature in TCOOMMI’s biennium report.

8. RENEWAL:

This agreement shall be renewed annually by mutual agreement of all the parties.

Certification

This Memorandum of Understanding is adopted to be effective ________________ 2005.

 

___________________________________
Brad Livingston, Executive Director
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

 

__________________________________
Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH Commissioner
Department of State Health Services

 

__________________________________
Local CSCD