House committee approves plan to keep mentally ill out of Florida jails
Date : April 04, 2016
Posted By:Nzinga Harrison
Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform (PfCJR) CORE ISSUE: Decriminalization of mental health and addictive disorders.
TALLAHASSEE | A measure that would put mentally ill people charged with crimes in medical treatment instead of correctional facilities is making its way through the legislative process. Highlights:
- Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, is the sponsor of House Bill 439. He said the goal is to help Florida prisons and jails shake their status as the state’s largest mental-health treatment facilities.
- Among other things, the proposal:■ Allows county judges to direct people accused of misdemeanors to treatment instead of jail;
■ Changes the definition of the term veteran to make more people eligible for veteran courts that provide alternative resolutions to jail for veterans charged with crimes;
■ Allows every county to create a mental-health court that provides treatment for mentally ill people accused of crimes instead of sending them to jail; and
■ Creates a pilot program in Duval, Broward and Miami-Dade counties that provides treatment options for people deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial for felony offenses instead of sending them to state mental-health hospitals.
Read the entire article at www.jacksonville.com
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