Target: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee
Goal: Provide needed mental health services for mentally ill people in the justice system
Members of Congress will soon review legislation that will improve services for people with mental illness, including veterans, in the criminal justice system. Urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to support this bill and ensure that it passes through Congress.
The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act would renew and improve the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), which has successfully helped individuals with mental illness or co-occurring substance abuse disorders who are involved in the justice system. The bill would help individuals in the system by expanding access to treatments that have been proven to work to treat mental illness in jails and prisons. It would support critical local mental health crisis programs, such as police crisis intervention teams and mental health courts, and it would also provide mental health training in police academies.
Mental health intervention in the criminal justice system would help reduce corrections spending by providing jail diversion programs and community re-entry resources to individuals with mental illness in jails and prisons. Law enforcement officers would also receive special training to help identify and provide resources to those in the justice system who need mental health care. Veterans who come in contact with the justice system would also receive needed resources for post-traumatic stress disorder and other illnesses in veteran treatment courts.
Support veterans and ease the burden of mental illness for people in jails and prisons by renewing and improving MIOTCRA. Sign the petition below to urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to support the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act.
Dear members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
I urge you to support S. 162, the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act. This legislation would renew and add improvements to the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), which has provided invaluable services to people with mental illness in the justice system.
The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act would provide mental health training for law enforcement, give veterans in the justice system resources to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and other illnesses, and give jails and prisons diversion programs and transitional resources for individuals with mental illness. Communities benefit when we help people struggling with mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders: when we help people get clean and re-enter the community, we reduce the burden on jails and prisons and increase public safety.
Please lend your support to the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act, and help reduce the burden of mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders for people who come in contact with the justice system.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Barnellbe via Wikimedia Commons