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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ind. Courts - Monroe County's "New mental health court starts next week"

Abby Tonsing reported Oct. 11th in the $$ Bloomington Herald-Times:

Monroe County is creating a mental health court to provide services for offenders with mental health disorders, substance abuse issues, traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The mental health court will be an expansion of the state-certified problem-solving court program, which employs evidence-based approaches to reducing recidivism, and the county’s existing mental health review team.

Changes to Indiana’s criminal code encourage communities to offer treatment and rehabilitation services to low-level offenders through probation and community corrections programs. State grant money will help pay for the pilot program. * * *

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 56 percent of prison inmates have mental health issues, and only one-third of those affected receive treatment, Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal said during a Friday afternoon news conference.

The goal of the program is to keep people mentally stable and out of trouble, while keeping the community safe and use of tax dollars down, Gaal said.

The probation department’s community corrections program received a $64,747 grant from the state to pay for a full-time probation officer and case manager who will handle a mental health court case load. Two local agencies, Centerstone and Amethyst House, received state grants of $83,201 and $25,000, respectively, to provide services to people who will go through the court. An additional $11,799 pays for computer software programs that will help measure the project’s outcomes.

“We want to see our folks getting out, getting back into homes, getting hope and getting back into the community where they belong,” said Linda Grove-Paul, Centerstone’s vice president for recovery and innovation.

The program is a partnership between several local offices and agencies, including the Monroe County Circuit Court, the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Monroe County Correctional Center, the Monroe County Probation Department, the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office, community mental health provider Centerstone, and addictions recovery program Amethyst House and Indiana University’s traumatic brain injury services in the speech and hearing sciences department.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 14, 2014 09:29 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts