Stepping up Initiative: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Fort Bend County Behavioral Health Services received a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in October of 2019 to be part of the Stepping Up Initiative. As part of the Fort Bend County Justice Mental Health Collaborative: Stepping Up, we are working to develop and implement a collaborative county approach to reduce the prevalence of individuals with serious mental illness in the jail. Our goals are to strengthen Fort Bend County’s collaborative approaches to:

  • Reduce the number of people with mental illness (MI)/ co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse (CMISA) in the jail
  • Decrease their average length of stay in jail
  • Improve connections to treatment
  • Lower recidivism rates


The Stepping Up Initiative moves away from programs and pilots; instead, it focuses on data-driven strategies to produce measurable outcomes. The Fort Bend County Justice and Mental Health Collaborative (FBCJMHC) targets data integration, by pulling together magistrate data, jail records, and other information within the justice system. Analyzing the data will lead to systematic improvements in identification of mental illnesses in jails, quantification of the widespread problem, and allows for implementation of successful strategies throughout the county.

The FBCJMHC includes a jail diversion coordinator, within BHS Department, to assist with connection with services, with the goal of reducing the length of incarceration and recidivism.

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For questions or assistance, please call: 281-238-3079

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Stepping Up Initiative
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