Mental Health Defendants
There is a need to balance public safety and provide adequate help for people with mental illness. Unfortunately, in some cases, a person may end up in the criminal justice system before receiving the help they desperately need.
The prosecutor’s office recognizes the importance of identifying these cases, and works closely with probation officials and law enforcement providers to provide a mental health diversion program. These departments meet monthly to ensure defendants diagnosed with mental health issues are following their prescribed treatment plan and getting their lives back on track.
A goal of the office is to help stabilize individuals who get caught in the criminal justice systems due to their mental illness. As a result of a team and community effort, these individuals can receive necessary help, which also promotes public safety.
Mental Health Diversion
There may be situations where an individual suffering from mental illness is charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense. Depending upon the case, some may be eligible for the Prosecutor’s office Mental Health Diversion Program. The leaders of the program, which includes local law enforcement and mental health professionals, meet monthly to ensure participants are following their treatment plan and receiving the help they need.
The Mental health diversion program is not appropriate for all cases with defendants who suffer from mental health issues. For these cases, there is a separate a separate mental health court where prosecutors, probation and mental health professionals work closely together, post-conviction, to monitor defendants with verifiable mental health issues. This ensures the defendant is receiving necessary help while also protecting public safety.