Non-violent, severely mentally ill defendants will now have their own courtroom in Manhattan -- one offering treatment rather than incarceration, officials announced March 16.
The new "Manhattan Mental Health Court," located on the 15th floor of 100 Centre St., will offer treatment and intense monitoring to defendants who volunteer for these programs and who are screened and approved by both the presiding judge, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, and the office of DA Cyrus Vance.
Defendants approved for the program -- so far none have been -- would plead guilty and agree to a court-mandated course of treatment, at the end of which the charges would either be reduced or dismissed, said Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.
Treating, rather than simply "warehousing" the non-violently mentally ill in jails and prisons, will cut down on recidivism and ultimately make us safer, Vance said in lauding the new court.
Friday, March 18, 2011
From The NY Post:
Posted by BA Haller at 1:54 AM