Thursday, June 4, 2009

Treatment as an Alternative to Jail for People with Mental Illness

By Rebecca A. Clay

Imagine you’re a police officer who spots a man trespassing, urinating in an alley, or engaging in some other illegal behavior. When you confront him, he mutters, won’t look you in the eye, and just seems a little strange. Not knowing what else to do, you put him in jail.

And there he sits, not getting treatment for what turns out to be a serious mental illness. The trauma of incarceration actually makes the man’s psychiatric problems worse. Soon after his release, he gets arrested again.
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That’s just the kind of scenario that the Targeted Capacity Expansion Grants for Jail Diversion Programs is designed to prevent. Launched by SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) in 2002, the program targets the unnecessary incarceration of nonviolent adult offenders with mental illnesses.

Read the rest here.

Click here for some links for jail diversion.

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