Confronted with people clearly in need of treatment and social services, law enforcement officers need a way to respond, because they know they’ll see them again. A new approach gaining traction across the country offers “a public health approach to better public safety.”
The 21st Century Cures Act approved yesterday contains provisions aimed at curbing the nation’s opioid epidemic including treatment programs and drug courts. It’s the second piece of legislation impacting criminal justice passed in the final days of this Congress.
A national coalition today asked the new Congress and President-elect to support a “comprehensive” plan for helping justice-involved individuals suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. The proposal included federal aid for training cops and corrections officers, and continued Medicaid coverage after release from prison.
Students who are punished for behavioral problems by being suspended or expelled from school—as opposed to receiving mental health treatment and medication—are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system later in life, according to a study published in Criminology.
Incompetent defendants in Pennsylvania who sometimes wait for months in jail on minor charges, and others stuck indefinitely in forensic mental hospitals, may move quickly toward trials or long-term homes under a lawsuit settlement approved yesterday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. A mentally ill person arrested for stealing three Peppermint Patties, as was one of the plaintiffs, “does not have to be sitting in a maximum security forensic hospital at $900 a day,” said Witold “Vic” Walczak of the American Civil […]
If there’s anything both sides of the heated and polarizing gun debate may agree on, it’s the need to keep firearms out of the hands of people with serious mental illness. That is not the same as saying gun violence is a mental health issue, which has become a renewed area of contention since President Obama announced new actions this month to reduce gun violence, including increased funding for mental health treatment and enhanced background checks, CNN reports. Mental health […]
Before issuing thousands of permits each year to buy handguns, North Carolina county sheriffs go through an oft-futile exercise. Relying on a law allowing them to ensure gun owners are of “good moral character,” they submit applicants' names to large health care facilities seeking to learn whether anyone was suicidal or otherwise mentally unfit to own a pistol, McClatchy Newspapers reports. Under the 1968 U.S. Gun Control Act, the sheriffs are entitled to know whether an applicant is disqualified from […]