Potter County’s new mental health court helps incarcerated people with mental illness to get out of the criminal justice system and instead get help and treatment from resources in the community.
With the lack of resources, beds and programs in the jail, the new court should help get people who have no business being in there out of the jail.
The court identifies community partners like the Texas Panhandle Center and other health care providers to work with the defendants and conserve the limited jail resources.
The attorney must identify the defendant’s type of mental health issue that may be significantly contributing to their criminal actions and the defendent must also have a diagnosed mental health issue.
The court is now in the process of developing a procedures manual.
Between 30 and 40 percent of inmates at the Potter County Detention Center have some type of mental illness.
Story By:Chuck Williams