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How mental health program efforts converts to $$$ saved
NIC News & Updates


Reported by Scott Weygandt, NIC

Last month, the 18th Judicial District's Mental Health Court celebrated its first anniversary, trumpeting tens of thousands of dollars in savings to taxpayers.

The program, a collaboration between the staffs at Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network and the 18th Judicial District, diverts the mentally ill away from prison. The goal, those behind it say, is to shut the revolving door that moves the mentally ill in and out of jail or prison but rarely addresses the disease at the root of their crimes.

But when expenses are totaled, the program is a money- saver compared with the $20,000 a year it costs to keep someone in prison, Becker said. In Arapahoe County Jail, the basic cost is about $83 a day.

"Even with startup costs, we've been able to save the county jail close to $200,000 and (the state) $400,000," Becker said.

Special NOTE: This is the same program NIC uses to assist with its CIT training program.

Posted Mon, Feb 7 2011 9:18 AM by Michael Dooley


Linda Burkhart wrote re: How mental health program efforts converts to $$$ saved
on Tue, Feb 8 2011 6:37 AM

Good Article.  Money talks

Jody Glittenberg, PhD wrote re: How mental health program efforts converts to $$$ saved
on Sun, Feb 20 2011 11:59 AM

This is an exceptional article placing the onus on the community to step up and deal with mentally officers. Yes, indeed this is money saved, but more importantly the crack that mentally ill offenders too often fall into, is lessened. Throughout the world we are seeing the signs of change, such as the democratization of old kingdoms in the Middle East. Walls are coming down. Change is needed as institutions, e.g. mental health and corrections, begin to form one collaborating partnership rather than standing like silos.

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