“On Feb. 9, 2017, the Okeechobee County Commissioners began the process of creating a Mental Health Court (MHC) Program and held their first official court date Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.”
The Overuse of Jails Hurts Our Communities
The primary purpose of jails is to detain those awaiting trial who are a danger to public safety or a flight risk. Jailing someone who is neither results in huge costs for families and communities, including lost income, parents separated from their children, untreated mental health and substance abuse problems, a greater risk of re-offending, and wasted taxpayer dollars.
A total of 191 applications were submitted to the Challenge from jurisdictions spanning 45 states. Meet the 40 that were selected to participate in the Challenge Network.
The initial decision to detain or release an accused person, either with or without financial and other conditions, is made by a judicial officer—usually pretty quickly, and often with a minimum of information. But this quick decision can have serious