The Texas Public Policy Foundation today released a paper by Center for Effective Justice Director Marc Levin, Mental Health Policy Fellow Kate Murphy, and Figari & Davenport L.L.P Associate Skyler Stuckey on mental health courts in Texas. The paper, Enhancing Public Safety and Saving Taxpayer Dollars: The Role of Mental Health Courts in Texas, examines the impact of mental health courts in Texas, including increased public safety, reduced recidivism, and taxpayer savings. 
“Measures that divert suitable offenders with mental illness from lockups to effective treatment programs can produce net savings while furthering public safety and offender accountability,” said Levin. “States have begun implementing problem-solving courts to accommodate offenders with specific needs that traditional courts cannot adequately address. These problem-solving courts focus on outcomes that benefit society by reducing crime and saving correction costs. Mental health courts are one of these problem-solving courts designed to reduce recidivism by requiring offenders with mental illness to be directly accountable to the court on an ongoing basis for compliance with a supervision and treatment plan.”
“Mental health courts could help Texas break the cycle of mental illness and crime. To reduce recidivism and spending on corrections, many states have established mental health courts,” said Murphy. “The time seems ideal for examining the role these courts can play in Texas’ future criminal justice policy.”
To read the full report, visit:

Marc A. Levin is director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.  
Kate Murphy is a mental health policy fellow contributing to the Center for Health Care Policy and the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 
Skyler Stuckey is an Associate at Figari & Davenport L.L.P. in Dallas who began researching this report while a student at Texas Tech Law School.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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