A grant in the amount of $175,000 has been awarded locally to provide treatment to adult offenders diagnosed with a mental disorder.
Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall and Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper worked together with Porter-Starke Services to secure this competitive grant which requires no local match money. Only 12 grants were distributed.
The grant money became available after the Indiana General Assembly awarded the Indiana Judicial Center $2 million to distribute throughout the state.
A significant number of criminal defendants have serious mental health issues, and previous funding has been insufficient to provide adequate treatment, according to Judge Hall. Studies show that more than half of the individuals jailed have serious mental illnesses.
The grant money will be used to provide evidence-based services and supervision for moderate and high risk felony offenders. Treatment will be received directly from mental health professionals, including psychiatrists and therapists. Those doctors will be able to diagnose and prescribe the necessary medication to treat disorders.
Safety is the number one concern. Judge Hall added that community safety increases when mental illnesses are adequately treated.