Encounters with law enforcement can be hazardous for people with serious mental illnesses. Because of the gap in quality mental health services, jails and prisons are too often the provider of first resort for people with mental health conditions. Efforts are underway at all levels of government to devise approaches for diverting people with mental illnesses away from criminal justice settings and into appropriate treatment. Jails are a costly stopgap, and there is a growing consensus on the need for alternatives.
A new approach to helping mentally ill people avoid the criminal justice system or get better care is in progress.
The Tulsa County sheriff said new mental health pods at the jail will be open by March 1st. He hopes to have them staffed with a full-time trained Registered Nurse.
Inmates with mental illness currently incarcerated in Alabama prisons allege that mental health care in state facilities is so inadequate that it violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Chicago is bolstering its response to emergencies involving people suffering from mental illness to address glaring deficiencies laid bare by the Justice Department.
Roughly 30 people in County Criminal Court No. 5 watched Waddill congratulate the first two graduates of the Denton County Mental Health Treatment Court, a program that gives certain offenders with mental illness a chance to have their crime completely wiped from their record. Read more…
An Alabama inmate found dead in his cell apparently killed himself just weeks after testifying in a trial accusing the state of denying proper mental health care to prisoners, officials said Tuesday. Read more…
“It’s about making sure that we continue to do what we need to do from a legal perspective but at the same time not at the cost of inflicting more trauma on a person who’s already in crisis,” said Bill Moore, deputy chief of Halifax Regional Police.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of several inmates who said they lacked access to doctors and psychologists and witnessed alleged correctional officer violence.
McKinney’s Police Chief Greg Conley is requiring every officer to undergo crisis intervention training through a week-long program at Collin College, offered only several times a year.
This new approach—if it were to become widespread—could profoundly impact the criminal-justice system, where addicts often end up.
In a new partnership, Loopback Analytics and Dallas-based Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) aim to connect area hospital emergency rooms, law enforcement and behavioral health providers.
Even in an election that swung overwhelmingly to the right, voters for the most part are still indicating that they want to rein in the excesses of the drug war, and they’re continuing the recent trend toward punishing the most punitive of elected law enforcement officials.
The Texas Judicial Council’s Mental Health Committee was created to study and make recommendations regarding improvements to the administration of justice for those suffering from or affected by mental illness.
“A jail is not a place for people experiencing (a mental-health) episode. County jails are the largest mental-health institutes in the country. Something needs to be changed,” Travis Sheriff Greg Hamilton said.
Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. had accidentally triggered his medical alert pendant. A former Marine and corrections officer, he had bipolar disorder, as well as arthritis and respiratory illness.
For Falls Police Officer Bill LaRue, practice makes perfect. “I like to be able to put things into practice,” LaRue said. “It’s different when you actually do something.”