News and Announcements

Plan for mentally ill gains funding

TREATMENT TO PREVENT MORE CRIMES


Plan for mentally ill gains funding
$500,000 to help create center for those who’ve been arrested
EMILY S. ACHENBAUM
eachenbaum@charlotteobserver.com

Community mental health advocates will have $500,000 to begin work on a residential service for mentally ill people who keep ending up in jail.

Tuesday at the Mecklenburg County commissioners’ meeting, Mecklenburg Area Mental Health Director Grayce Crockett reviewed the plan. The commissioners had already put money aside for the project in a restricted contingency fund, but hadn’t released it yet.

The project, known as the Community Mental Health & Justice Program, will include the development of a crisis center where people who have been arrested can stay for up to 90 days. It doesn’t mean they get out of their criminal case, Crockett emphasized. Instead, offenders will receive medical and psychological treatment they need to keep from committing another crime.

Crockett said increased treatment for repeat offenders suffering from mental illness or addiction will help cut recidivism and save taxpayers money. Representatives from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and county District Attorney’s office spoke in support of the program.

Other action

The board voted to encourage Charlotte City Council to consider ways to reimburse a recently annexed Stallings subdivision, where some residents were charged twice for police services. The county board does not have jurisdiction over that money but discussed the issue because the residents effected are Mecklenburg, but not Charlotte, residents.
Emily S. Achenbaum: 704-358-5164