Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mental health courts: A strategy that works?

From Psychiatric News: A new study "documents reduced levels of recidivism" among participants in mental health courts. Texas' first mental health court opened last year in Houston, which is struggling with ways to manage mentally ill offenders.


Anonymous said...

This is the first I've read of a "Mental health court". I'd love to see more coverage of this approach to the problems of criminal behavior.

Thanks again for covering all aspects of the criminal justice system.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

They want to create one in Grayson County, too. I don't know if it's begun yet or not. I think it's a really smart approach to a difficult population.

Anonymous said...

I think we can all agree that diversion with programs of integrity do lower recidivism. The research shows that in drug courts as well. I'm wondering though since clinic notes were not included in the study if many were being medicated for their illness.

All sounds promising.

Anonymous said...

We have a MH diversion program at our jail and have discovered that by working with community based correction we are preventing parole/probation violations and keeping such clients from entering jail in the first place.

The savings in drug costs alone for the jail has been significant. The only reason we have such a program is because of very strong support from community members who do not think mentally ill people belong in jail.

The initial enthusiasm is wearing off and the view now it this approach put another useful tool in the toolbox. We should have a combined Drug/MH court in operation within the next few months.

Anonymous said...

makes too much sense to become standard practice in Texas.