Cass County’s 43rd Circuit Court awarded grant

CASSOPOLIS — The Cass County 43rd Circuit Court has been awarded the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Site-Based Program “Gap Filling” Grant from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

The court was awarded the federal grant for the grant period of Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2023.

Cass County’s 43rd Circuit Court’s award is one of 110 grants nationwide totaling more than $147 million to jurisdictions under COSSAP. BJA awarded a total of three grants in Michigan, with the other two grants awarded to St. Joseph County Courts and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, which each received $600,000 threee-year awards as well.

COSSAP grants are awarded to provide financial and technical assistance to states, counties, and tribes to develop, implement, or expand comprehensive efforts to identify, respond to, treat and support those impacted by illicit opioids, stimulants and other drugs of abuse. While the opioid epidemic has dominated headlines, communities throughout the nation have been impacted by diverse drug use patterns including stimulants and other illicit substances.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to add to our problem-solving court continuum of care with the addition of the COSSAP ‘Gap Filling’ grant,” said Cass County’s Probate Judge Susan L. Dobrich. “The grant will enable us to better serve our community to prevent formal involvement with our Court and criminal justice systems as well as to help those individuals and families transitioning out of our Court and criminal justice systems. We will be working collaboratively with the Sheriff, Community Mental Health – Woodlands, Cass Family Clinic Network – Niles Community Health Center, Department of Health and Human Services and the Prosecutor before the criminal process begins. The grant will provide prevention programs for families, addiction, overdoses, and first responders assistance, in dealing with the crisis. This grant allows us to build on the work we’ve been doing for the last two decades to have a more coordinated community response, involving multiple disciplines and agencies, to the substance abuse crisis.”

For fiscal year 2021, starting Oct. 1, the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs awarded grants totaling more than $340 million to help fight the addiction crisis looming over the United States, dramatically impacting crime victims, children, families, first responders and communities at large. Four components within OJP – the BJA, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime and the National Institute of Justice – provided funds to address the opioid and stimulant crisis.

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