Back in November of 2013, I was approached about the need for housing for misdemeanor offenders diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illnesses. The 29th District Court received funding to start a Mental Health Treatment Court and was in need of community partners to sit on their Planning and Advisory committees. As this was a welcome opportunity to learn more about mental illness and our court system, and to provide housing resources to those in need, I enthusiastically enlisted my services.
My first question: What exactly is Mental Health Treatment Court and why do we need it? I was educated quickly by the court as well as the other partners. The Mental Health Treatment Court provides services and monitoring for misdemeanor defendants living with serious mental illness, developmental disabilities and co-occurring disorders. The main goal is to keep and/or get defendants with a mental illness into treatment.
Did you know?
- Between 15 and 20% of the inmates in the Wayne County Jail are receiving services for a serious mental illness.
- Wayne County Jail is the largest provider of in-patient mental health services in the State of Michigan.
I was finding out very quickly why the Mental Health Treatment Court existed, the eligibility requirements and what the needs are of the individuals.
And so, my journey begins …
Image caption: The Mental Health Treatment Court provides services and monitoring for misdemeanor defendants living with serious mental illness, developmental disabilities and co-occurring disorders.