National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from NAMI Mobile
Justice & Mental Health Collaboration Program
(Jail Diversion Program, for short)
Among the many faces of mental illness, one of the toughest to deal with is the ever-present threat of a loved-one getting arrested—oftentimes having little, or no control over the circumstances leading to the arrest.
· Nearly two million new jail admissions are of people with mental illnesses-35,000 individuals a week!
· It is estimated that nearly one million individuals with mental illnesses were in the criminal justice system.
· More than 16% of jail inmates have a mental illness, according to the US Department of Justice.
· Seventy percent of jail inmates with mental illnesses are there for nonviolent offenses.
“Jail Diversion” is an initiative in which persons with serious mental illness who are involved with the criminal justice system are redirected from traditional criminal justice pathways to the mental health and substance abuse treatment systems. Evidence was found that jail diversion initiatives can reduce the amount of jail time that a person with mental illness serves.
It can, in fact, be a key element in getting a family member into, or back into, desperately needed treatment.
NAMI Mobile applauds the efforts of our local law enforcement entities and Altapointe Health Systems for their initiative in taking on the formulation and implementation of our new jail diversion program. We are also extremely appreciative in being part of these efforts.
We would be remiss if we did not also express our appreciation for an additional $150,000 kicked in by Altapointe for implementation of the program. The original grant of $250,000 provided only funding for developing the program.