Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TCOOMMI and Henderson County

From Athens Review:
County gets reprieve on mental health program

By Rich Flowers News Editor

September 15, 2009 08:33 pm

— Just when it seemed Henderson County was going to have to pay about $80 each for inmate mental evaluations, a state-funded program found new life.
Tuesday, the Henderson County Commissioners Court adopted a memorandum of understanding between the county and the Andrews Center which will enable the county to take advantage of the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical and Mental Impairments program.
The program provides mental evaluations for non-crisis inmates who are not in imminent danger of attempting suicide or harming others.
Under the terms of the memorandum, equipment owned by TCOOMMI will be used by the jail to access mental health services from the Andrews Center for incarcerated offenders in custody there. The use of the telemedicine equipment is intended to allow better access to services, maintain public safety and decrease officer transport and wait time.
“This gives the TCOOMMI program the opportunity to screen them here,” Henderson County Mental Health Coordinator Kay Dingler said. “They will do it on a weekly basis, and probably see five to 10 people, depending on the time required on each one. It is state-funded, and we only have to provide the room.”
Henderson County pays Andrews Center $30,000 each year for help with the mentally-ill, mentally-challenged, chemically-dependent and mentally-disabled. The center offers screenings to determine if the individual is in need of emergency services, and provides the county with after-hour mental evaluation and commitment screenings.
TCOOMMI was created by the Texas Legislature in 1989 to “reduce the time of additional imprisonment, reduce recidivism and divert offenders with mental illness, mental retardation and severe medical impairments to appropriate treatments instead of incarceration.”
“TCOOMMI has had a renewed spirit of working with us over about the last 30 days,” Henderson County Judge David Holstein said.
Dingler said TCOOMMI had been set up as a pilot program, but due to its initial success, millions of dollars have been allocated to keep it running.


Anonymous said...

Just like the same article posted on this topic-Don't believe everything you read. This information is not accurate.

Anonymous said...

Henderson County is grand standing!