Broward felony justice leaders are urgently in search of alternate options to incarceration for the mentally in poor health, acknowledging the present system’s ineffectiveness.
An incident involving a person with psychological well being issues climbing atop a Miramar fireplace truck, halting site visitors and resulting in his arrest, showcased the problem publicly. “A number of issues might have gone catastrophically incorrect and somebody might have died,” warned Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony.
Change in Police Interplay Needed
Sheriff Tony advocates for a change in police dealings with psychological well being instances, emphasizing the pressure on officers. He initiated a program final October the place psychological well being professionals accompany police throughout psychological disaster calls. Out of 545 purchasers encountered, 537 accepted companies and there have been zero use-of-force incidents reported from September 2022 to September 2023.
With round 42% of Broward County Jail’s roughly 3,500 inmates receiving psychological well being therapy, the cycle of arrest, treatment, and launch just isn’t solely ineffective however costly for taxpayers, says Broward County Chief Decide Jack Tuter. Every incarceration prices a whole lot day by day, excluding treatment bills.
Name for Funding in Psychological Well being Facilities
Each Tuter and Tony imagine that funds ought to be allotted in the direction of psychological well being therapy facilities as a simpler answer. “We have now to discover a higher method to take care of this,” insisted Tuter. They name for help from metropolis and county commissioners controlling budgets, and public advocacy to prioritize psychological well being companies.