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.
On Monday, training to become Crisis Intervention Team – or CIT certified – began for 30 law enforcement officers from various agencies in Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis parishes.
Colorado is one of only six states where a person having a psychiatric crisis who is at risk of committing suicide or harming others can be involuntarily held in a jail cell for up to 24 hours. The new legislation would change that by facilitating better access to mental health treatment centers.
While about 3 percent of U.S. adults suffer from a severe mental illness, they make up a quarter to one-half of all fatal law enforcement encounters, according to the nonprofit Treatment Advocacy Center. At SXSW 2017, the founders of RideAlong hope to prevent such tragic incidents by equipping police with information that will ultimately divert Read more
A bill aimed at expanding protections for minorities and the mentally ill took one step closer to being made law after gaining a sponsor in the Texas Senate Friday. House Bill 2702, aka the Sandra Bland bill, had already been filed by Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston. Read more.
Colorado would outlaw using jails for mental health holds, increase services under $9.5 million proposal
A bill under consideration at the statehouse would ban the use of jails to house people who are a “danger to themselves or others” but have not committed any crime.
The pilot could lead to Harris County becoming the first county in Texas to make legal representation available at all hearings where bail is set.
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.