Mental Health Courts Save Taxpayers Money
In the past, many of the individuals found incompetent to stand trial often spent months in jail on minor charges such as trespassing, just waiting for a state mental health bed to become available for them.
The cost savings the mental health court program will generate is still being calculated.
An impact study by the county's planning resource management department of 36 case files indicates the defendants in those cases had 16 prior felonies and 84 prior misdemeanor charges among them.
During the course of their criminal history, they have spent a total of 3,189 days in jail at a cost of about $159,450 to the county.
If the mental health court programs can successfully keep some of these defendants from cycling back, the cost savings to the taxpayer could be huge.