“I know what I did was crazy. I’ve started to become very depressed. I didn’t care about myself anymore. I felt like my whole world was collapsing around me. Ever since I lost my sister and my mother, two months apart from each other, I haven’t been the same person. I come from a decent family; I’ve always worked, never been a trouble maker and graduated from high school. I have always respected the law, never been arrested and never committed any crime. I am so sorry for what my craziness of mind had me act upon today. I need help.” - a client of the Mental Health Advocacy Program. This 54 year old man, arrested for robbery, lacked any supportive services, was unemployed, without food and lacked the ability to provide or advocate for himself.
The main objective of this program is to divert mentally ill & cognitively impaired offenders (often dually diagnosed with drug and alcohol abuse) from further adjudication and confinement. We believe that identifying these individuals early leads to potentially successful treatment and, as a result, decreased recidivism rather than punishment. Our team consists of a licensed psychologist, a coordinator and forensic case managers. Our goal is to secure mental health and/or psychiatric treatment, medical services, entitlement benefits, substance abuse services and referrals to long-term support. Very intensive case management support is provided within the first 24 hours of diversion and includes up to daily support as needed to insure that the client is stabilized and the appropriate case plan is developed and initiated. Short-term intensive services lead to a discharge plan, which includes provision for the immediate release of the client to supervised structured housing. The client may return home or to previous community housing if that is available and the Court is willing to agree.
Download our brochure: Mental Health Court Advocacy brochure