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Mental Health Court to Provide Alternatives to Jail

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 in Courts, Katrina, Local Issues

NOLA.com reported today on the recent renewal of a program which had largely fallen by the wayside after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans Mental Health Court, which operates out of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, is a program designed to provide resources to mentally ill probationers with the intention of keeping them from serving jail time. [caption id="attachment_2115" align="alignright" width="146" caption="Photo Courtesy of karenhermanforjudge.com"][/caption] Coordination of counseling, transportation, health care, and treatment as well as vigilant oversight by court and probation officers are offered to individuals who agree to plead to specific felonies in return for the ability to participate in the program. Currently, the newly re-launched program (thanks to a $100,000 federal grant secured by Judge Karen Herman) is serving 6 individuals, a number which is significantly down from its pre-Katrina enrollment of 160. For more information on New Orleans Mental Health Court and the anticipated development of the program, visit NOLA.com.

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