NV Governor’s Budget Shift Endangers Mental Health Courts


Las Vegas’ mental health court has kept mentally ill people out of jails and emergency rooms after committing crimes ranging from petty larceny to assault, but it could vanish July 1, says the Las Vegas Sun. That's because Gov. Brian Sandoval's call for shared sacrifice to help solve the state's budget deficit would kill such courts in three counties.

Advocates argue that Sandoval's proposal to make counties, rather than the state, fund mental health courts won't work because the counties are strapped for money. Among those leading the outcry is Judge Jackie Glass, who helped start Clark County's mental health court in 2003 after it received seed money through a federal grant. Since the court was established 107 participants have graduated from the program. “It's a shame that the governor didn't put that funding in the budget,” Glass said. “The individuals who would be helped will have a very difficult time receiving treatment.” That, she said, would lead to more recidivism.

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