Wichita Oks Mental Health Court
When people with mental illness are sent to jail time after time for the same petty offenses, it doesn't do much good for them or taxpayers.
That's the guiding principle behind a move to establish the state's first "mental health court" within the Wichita Municipal Court system, officials said.
The new court will bring together city, county and other resources to provide treatment and support — rather than punishment — for people with severe mental problems who get in trouble with the law because of their illness, said Municipal Judge Bryce Abbott.
"I'm excited about it," said Abbott, who has worked for two years to establish the program.
"We'll be getting everybody in the room at the same time, figure out a plan of attack and what's needed and see that it gets provided," he said.
The City Council last week approved an ordinance authorizing the mental health court, which Abbott said is expected to start hearing cases early in October.
Rest of article at: http://www.kansas.com/news/local/story/961288.html