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.
Nearly half of mentally ill individuals who said they had contact with Phoenix police said the officers actually made the situation worse, according to a city survey.
The Dallas County jail is, in fact, the second largest mental health treatment facility in Texas – after the Harris County Jail in Houston. Many of the inmates ended up there as a result of crisis intervention – or mental health – 911 calls.
While those with serious mental health conditions who are accused in criminal trials may be accepted as not criminally responsible for their actions, the greater public isn’t so forgiving.
On the anniversary of the death of University of Texas student Haruka Weiser, Austin police described Monday what they are doing to help people transition out of homelessness in Austin.
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.