Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform (PfCJR) CORE ISSUE:  Decriminalization of mental health and addictive disorders.

TALLAHASSEE | A measure that would put mentally ill people charged with crimes in medical treatment instead of correctional facilities is making its way through the legislative process.  Highlights:

  • Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, is the sponsor of House Bill 439. He said the goal is to help Florida prisons and jails shake their status as the state’s largest mental-health treatment facilities.
  • Among other things, the proposal:■ Allows county judges to direct people accused of misdemeanors to treatment instead of jail;

    ■ Changes the definition of the term veteran to make more people eligible for veteran courts that provide alternative resolutions to jail for veterans charged with crimes;

    ■ Allows every county to create a mental-health court that provides treatment for mentally ill people accused of crimes instead of sending them to jail; and

    ■ Creates a pilot program in Duval, Broward and Miami-Dade counties that provides treatment options for people deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial for felony offenses instead of sending them to state mental-health hospitals.

Read the entire article at www.jacksonville.com

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