Young people with mental illnesses who have become involved with the criminal justice system have something to look forward to in 2013. In the last few days of 2012, Mayor Bloomberg announced a new mental health initiative that will provide additional support and resources to court-involved individuals with mental illness who are re-entering their communities.
This is excellent news for the 42 percent of young adults (ages 16-18) in Department of Corrections custody who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Under the new plan, Court-based Intervention and Resource Teams in each borough will collect and quickly relay information on defendants' mental health care needs, risk of flight and risk of re-offense to the court-based teams to recommend appropriate judicial responses for each defendant's specific risks and mental health needs.
"With the creation of these teams, court officials in New York City will receive the information they need to make better decisions about custody and assignment to community-based programs," said Chief Policy Advisor Feinblatt. "New York City is poised to set a new standard for providing resources to support those with mental health issues in large metropolitan areas."