Mental Health Court (Equinox Program)
Over the past several years the court system has seen a dramatic increase in the number of offenders who suffer from serious and chronic mental illness. According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Justice Center, persons sufffering from mental illness are more likely to be arrested than those without mental illness for similar crimes and spend more time in jail and prison than other inmates. In addition, individuals with mental illness may cycle repeatedly through the justice system untreated and become homeless thus putting themselves and the community at greater risk. Overall, the cost of treating an individual in the community is much less than housing an individual in jail or prison.