New program for mentally ill defendants in NYC - FOX 13 News

New program for mentally ill defendants in NYC

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new initiative where mentally ill people who get arrested are channeled into treatment instead of jail, if they don't need to be there.

Bloomberg says the effort will begin next year and set out to work with 3,000 people annually.

The program will use expert teams to assess the defendants' mental health needs. The teams will make recommendations to judges about what psychological services and supervision are needed.

Officials say the mentally ill often can't post bail and generally end up in jail twice as long as other inmates facing similar charges.

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