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‘A Large Distinction in How We Do Prison Justice In Our Neighborhood’

(Fort Value, TX) – A protracted-term plan to create a psychological well being jail diversion middle – and supply a substitute for placing individuals with psychological well being wants behind bars – seems to be on the quick monitor.

Tarrant County Decide Glen Whitley mentioned Tuesday in the course of the Commissioners Court docket assembly that he wish to see the ability, geared to get the mentally unwell the medical consideration they want, open by October 1, 2021.

County officers have talked concerning the want for such a facility for years.

“This may make an enormous distinction in how we do criminal justice in our group,” mentioned Sharen Wilson, Tarrant County’s prison district legal professional, a key advocate of this effort. “The mentally unwell, for essentially the most half, shouldn’t be in our jails. This provides them a chance to not be there.”

A mental health jail diversion middle could be a partnership that includes the county, JPS, MHMR and legislation enforcement.

It will give legislation enforcement officers a spot to take somebody who, for example, might have been detained for prison trespassing – or one other non-violent, low-level crime – however who as an alternative may need mental health points that should be addressed. That particular person not must go to jail.

Fewer Inmates At Tarrant County Jail

As an alternative, they might be taken to this middle the place they may keep whereas MHMR and community partners discover one of the best amenities for them to get assist for psychiatric wants, homelessness, medicine administration, well being points, and extra.

Because of this, there could be fewer inmates on the Tarrant County Jail and within the prison courtroom system –and fewer individuals in hospital emergency rooms.

“We acknowledge the county jail shouldn’t be the place for one to regain one’s psychological well being,” Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks mentioned throughout Tuesday’s assembly. “That is really a diversion program. These individuals won’t ever hit the entrance door of the jail. … The target of this middle is to stabilize this particular person and do a heat hand-off to community-based care.”

The query now’s which entity pays for the middle – and which can handle it.
Whitley famous that these are necessary inquiries to reply at a soon-to-be scheduled workshop. However for now, Tarrant County Administrator G.Ok. Maenius mentioned he’ll have interaction an actual property company to search out an 18,000- to twenty,000-square-foot rental facility in Tarrant County to deal with this facility.

“It’s what’s finest for everyone,” Wilson mentioned. “It’s finest for police, the courts, the county, and for the person and their households.

“We simply want it.”

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