MOBILE, Ala. (PRWEB) February 21, 2020
Nationwide jails are seeing higher rates of incarcerated people with serious mental illnesses such as Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia. While someone with a mental illness is no more likely to commit a crime than anyone else, when they do, they are usually petty crimes such as criminal trespass, loitering, or harassment.
They may be experiencing symptoms that lead to these types of crimes. Statistics show that individuals with mental illnesses are more likely to spend more time in jail because they lack the resources to bond out and are more likely to re-offend because they lack the supports needed to maintain stability in the community.
HOW DOES THE STEPPING UP WORK TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF THE INCARNATION OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS?
The Stepping Up Initiative identifies people with a serious mental illness who have frequent encounters with law enforcement but aren't a danger to the community.
"We can link these individuals to AltaPointe and other community supports," Cindy Gipson, Ph.D., assistant director of intensive adult services for AltaPointe Health, said. "We are kicking off the Stepping Up Initiative with a meeting of local leaders who are committed to solving these issues."
HOW ARE PEOPLE IDENTIFIED FOR THE PROGRAM?
A screening tool re-offend at the jail during booking. If someone has a positive screening for mental health issues, they meet with a Stepping Up case manager for further evaluation and assessment.
"The case manager links them to services designed to promote treatment engagement, reduce jail time, and increase their chances of staying out of jail," Dr. Gipson added.
To learn more about AltaPointe Health and all of its programs and services geared to help people of all ages experiencing mental health issues, you can visit altapointe.org or call (251) 450-2211.