Jail Diversion News
"The Civil Rights Movement of this decade is Mental Health Care quality and equality."
-- Updated February 24, 2005 --
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The mission of this page is to provide links to news and information about jail diversion efforts in King County and Washington State and it will contain links to national organizations who have published research and position papers regarding "jail diversion."
Mental Health Court Web Sites, News, and Articles.
Unfortunately, jails have become one of the major institutions for housing and "treating" those with mental illness and chemical dependency problems. This situation needs to change. Not only is it expensive "treatment," but it is often inadequate and non-productive treatment.
Rather than utilizing expensive prisons to house minor offenders with significant mental illness or substance abuse behavior, the mission of jail diversion advocates is to provide intensive case management to offenders as outpatients to work towards recovery. Such programs are often ordered by Mental Health Courts and Drug Courts.
We cannot guarantee that our list of links will always contain the very latest news about mental health courts and drug courts. If you want to do more research and find more articles, we recommend that you visit the Google News Search Engine page and type into the search box the words "mental health court" or "drug court" or similar search phrases. You will get a comprehensive list of the most current articles from a large number of publications.
Drug Court Web Sites, News and Resources.
King County Web Sites
Seattle Area News Articles
- Seattle Municipal Mental Health Court Web site.
- King County Mental Health Court Index page.
On February 17, 1999, King County District Court instituted a specialized Mental Health Court. This project was created in order to better serve the community by addressing public safety, reducing criminalization of persons with mental illness, and promoting systems integration. The planning involved key players from across the county using a collaborative approach to create an effective working pilot program. Judge James Cayce led the program from its inception until Judge Mark Chow began his tenure in July of 2000. The foundation of the court has remained the same since it began although some of the daily practices and procedures have shifted to meet the needs of the environment over time. The program's pilot status changed to that of a permanent program after two years and the court continues to operate with the support of the involved systems, clients, families, and community.
- King County Criminal Justice Initiative -- Interim Progress Report, December 2004(67-page Adobe Acrobat document). King County Council adopted the Adult Justice Operational Master Plan (the Plan) in November, 2002, which paved the way for the Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI). The Plan recommended that a portion of the expected savings from the closure of the North Rehabilitation Facility and Cedar Hills Addiction Treatment facility be used for alternatives to 24-hour secure detention in King County correctional facilities. The primary objectives of developing jail alternatives were to reduce both the jail population and recidivism. A particular emphasis was placed on developing services for inmates who are high users of the jail and/or individuals who have substance use disorders and mental illnesses who are not otherwise eligible for service enrollment.
- Mentally Ill Offenders Community Transition Project Report. The stated legislative intent is "to create a pilot program to provide for post release mental health care and housing for a select group of mentally ill offenders entering community living, in order to reduce incarceration costs, increase public safety, and enhance the offender's quality of life." The report focuses on the first three years of implementation, including successes, innovations and challenges, reports preliminary outcomes, and offers some early conclusions and recommendations.
National News Articles
Information and Position Papers
- The Consensus Project -- The Criminal Justice / Mental Health Consensus Project is an unprecedented, national effort coordinated by the Council of State Governments (CSG) to help local, state, and federal policymakers and criminal justice and mental health professionals improve the response to people with mental illness who become involved in, or are at risk of involvement in, the criminal justice system.
- From the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) -- Statement on Criminalization Web page.
- From Bazelon.org, a very comprehensive review article published in 2003 -- The Role of Mental Health Courts in System Reform.
- Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law -- Ending the Criminalization of People With Mental Illnesses.
- From the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) -- Mental Health Courts Resources and Information.
- U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance -- Emerging Judicial Strategies For The Mentally Ill In The Criminal Caseload: Mental Health Courts In Fort Lauderdale, Seattle, San Bernardino, And Anchorage -- Monograph, April 2000.
Thank You for Stopping By!
- Best wishes, Ron Sterling M.D. (Seattle, Washington, USA)
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RON STERLING, M.D.
Copyright 2000-2007. Ron Sterling, M.D.
All Rights Reserved.