New Court Program Aimed at Helping Mentally Ill Defendants

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A new court program is being set up for mentally ill defendants who commit misdemeanor crimes in Sedgwick County.

The mental health court is expected to start in the spring.

Jason Scheck, director of treatment for the community mental health center Comcare, says the program will help offenders with their illness and get them the treatment they need.

Scheck says booking mentally ill defendants into jail several times a year isn't going to change their behavior.

KAKE-TV reports that more than 60 percent of Sedgwick County jail inmates suffer from a mental illness.

The mental health court is looking to reduce that percentage.

Funding was set aside in the county's criminal justice master plan. Federal grant money also is being used.
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Information from: KAKE-TV, http://www.kake.com

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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