By Brittany Kelly, Marion County Public Defender Agency
It is crucial that criminal justice providers stay informed on how to serve clients with mental illness. In a mental health crisis, people are more likely to encounter police than get medical help. As a result, 2 million people with mental illnesses are booked into jails each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
NAMI reports that nearly 15 percent of men and 30 percent of women booked into jails have a serious mental health condition. According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, in every county with both a county jail and a county psychiatric facility, more seriously mentally ill individuals are incarcerated than hospitalized.
This article discusses competency along with other ways to stabilize a client with a mental illness such ensuring effective communication, providing access to appropriate mental health medications and requesting an immediate detention. It also outlines the differences between an Immediate Detention and an Emergency Detention as well as the differences between a Temporary Commitment and a Regular Commitment. Read the article here.
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