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County programs provide way out for those with mental health issues

Date : April 04, 2016

Posted By:Nzinga Harrison

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Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform (PfCJR) CORE ISSUE:  Decriminalization of mental health and addictive disorders.

The Lyon County Forensic Assessment Safety Triage Team and Mobile Outreach Safety Team were established in August 2015 to address the significant number of individuals in the criminal justice system with a mental health diagnosis, substance use disorder or, in many cases, both.  Highlights:

  • These teams represent community collaboration between state and local government and nonprofit agencies to address the behavioral health needs of people involved in, or at risk of involvement in, the criminal justice system by providing an array of community-based diversion services designed to keep people with behavioral health issues out of the criminal justice system while also addressing issues of public safety.
  • New Sheriff McNeil described the programs as restorative justice rather than jail diversion, but said they help reduce repeat offenders by giving them the help they need to prevent them from becoming involved with law enforcement.
  • McNeil said the programs save the county money in the long run, by reducing the costs of institutionalizing the mentally ill.

Read the entire article at RGJ.com

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