Objective I: Maximize the number of mentally ill misdemeanants who are diverted from the criminal justice system to the mental health system.
Many mentally ill people, especially those who are not currently supported by community programs, may be picked up by police for violation of misdemeanor laws. Jail is often seen as the easiest, and frequently the only available placement by the police, but this is not a placement or process that brings people into contact with community mental health service providers. If diversion were available for appropriate mentally ill misdemeanants, many of those who now become involved with the costly criminal justice system could be diverted to an alternative which would provide psychiatric assessment, treatment, medication and monitoring. Ultimately, fewer people would become repeat law breakers. One alternative focus is to establish a place other than jail for police to bring people. In addition, adjudicated misdemeanants could be diverted from jail time to court probation and treatment in community programs.
351. In Anchorage, as a pilot project, a Task Force will establish a system to identify and link mentally ill misdemeanants to community mental health and support providers, and track the effectiveness of care and compliance with bail or probation requirements.
Responsible party: Task Force
352. The Alaska Mental Health Board/Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority will request funding to implement the pilot project.
Responsible party: Alaska Mental Health Board, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
353. The Alaska Mental Health Board and Department of Corrections will evaluate the pilot project for replication in other areas of the state.
Responsible party: Alaska Mental Health Board