Offender Behavioral Health Services

SB 07-097 (commonly referred to as Senate Bill 97) was developed in response to Colorado’s significant growth in the demand for community-based mental health services for individuals with mental illness involved in local and state criminal justice systems. Through new funds authorized by the Colorado General Assembly (HB 07-1359, which is a complimentary bill to SB 07-097), the CDHS Office of Behavioral Health funds 11 mental health service programs by Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) for juvenile and adult offenders with mental health problems who are involved in the criminal justice system. 
The SB-97 program initiative is intended to develop community-based services for juveniles and adults with mental illness involved in the criminal justice system in collaboration with identified community agencies and associated resources. Local projects are expected to set goals concerning the number and types of juveniles with serious emotional disorders (SED) and/or adults with serious mental illness (SMI) to be served. The program requires that CMHCs devote project resources to collecting necessary data to evaluate program effectiveness.

Services to be provided are intended to be the least restrictive and to address the following needs:

  • Increase community capacity to serve juveniles with SED and adults with SMI
  • Provide outcome- and recovery-oriented services that increase the target population’s abilities to function independently in the community
  • Promote communities to work collaboratively across mental health and criminal justice systems
  • Reduce jail and prison recidivism
  • Provide for long-term, local sustainability
  • Provide cost effective services



Jagruti Shah, Offender Mental Health Programs Manager
Office of Behavioral Health | 303.866.7504