Effective Programs in the Criminal Justice System
If a mental health condition is recognized and an individual is stuck in the criminal justice system, diversion programs are made to help them get proper treatment and to also complete their court-mandated sentence.
Sometimes, if an individual commits a small crime and serves time in jail with a mental health condition, this may lead them to commit larger crimes due to their worsening mental health. Diversion programs are able to avoid this by providing the help these individuals need for their mental health condition.
There are two strategies that will ensure these individuals are able to get proper help and treatment for their mental health condition if they have found themselves in the criminal justice system.
A pre-booking strategy is focused on the officer who first comes in contact with the individual committing a crime. It is important that these officers are properly informed about mental health conditions and how to properly handle the situation.
A post-booking strategy is after an individual has been arrested, they are evaluated for mental health conditions. An example of this would be mental health courts, which are intended for those suffering with mental health conditions to be diverted to judicially supervised programs. Also in this court, mental health assessments help determine a reasonable punishment and how they can receive treatment during this time.
It is important that all officers are educated on the topic of mental health and how to properly handle a situation with an individual living with a mental health condition. It is also important for mental health courts to properly assess an individual so they are receiving proper treatment and also serving time for their crime.
Written by: Shannon Finn