The issue of providing adequate access to justice for people with mental illness has grown in importance as these situations continue to strain strapped state and federal budgets and public and governmental agencies try to work together to find solutions.

A new white paper, entitled How are Civil Courts Meeting the Challenge of Mental Health?, looks at ways mental health cases can be fairly and efficiently processed in the courts, while keeping in mind the health and safety of everyone in the community and the associated costs posed by people with mental illnesses.

The paper points out that the “percentage of inmates in U.S. state and federal prisons that have serious mental illnesses is three to four times higher than the rate of mental illness in the general population. These numbers have serious implications when it comes to allocating community resources to treat persons with mental illnesses involved in the justice system.”

The white paper also offers a case study of the courts in Norristown, Pa., and how those courts dealt with these vital issues.

Finally, the paper makes the case for collaborate, not only among public and governmental agencies, but with third-party solution providers who, by working together, may hold the key to successfully addressing these serious issues and ultimately providing better processing through the courts for those people with mental illness.

Download a full copy of the white paper here.

This post originally appeared on the Legal Executive Institute blog.


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