A measure that creates the Mental Health Prison Diversion Commission Act passed the house and is on to the Senate. Democratic State Representative Scott Drury’s measure creates a commission to gather information, review studies and identify areas of best practice on how the criminal justice system should handle individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities.

Recent numbers provided by the Department of Corrections updated in October of last year indicates nearly one in four inmates are treated for a mental illness while nearly ten percent suffer from severe mental illness.  The John Howard association says they hope the commission, if enacted, moves quickly but says it’s an important issue that needs to be addressed to reform criminal justice and the prison system.


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