Medical College Residents to Expand Drug Court Effort
Excerpt: Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. volunteered to oversee the [drug court] program and is one of its biggest fans.
Within a few weeks he hopes to add another element, thanks to the interest from the Medical College of Georgia's Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior.
"Many people who use and abuse drugs are masking mental illness," Judge Blanchard said. Having MCG psychiatry residents on hand to learn and to help is a win-win situation, he said.
It's estimated that 17 to 23 percent of the people in jails and prisons across the country have mental illnesses, he said.
Since the conception of a local drug court, Judge Blanchard has spoken of a future mental health court. By keeping watch over those with mental illness who have come into contact with the judicial system, the cycle of incarceration could be broken.