An article published on Nov 19, 2019, in the Sierra Vista Herald discusses a new approach to working with defendants with mental health issues. This plan has been approved by the Supervisors and is on track to be implemented in early 2020.
According to the article, defendants with mental health issues could enter an Alternative Resolution Program (ARP), in which the defendant is offered the opportunity to attend a mental health treatment program and, in return, the county attorney will suspend prosecution and could ultimately end up dismissing the case if the defendant successfully completes the program.
To support this program, the county approved a new mental health coordinator position who will “…assist with coordinating treatment, housing, employment, benefits and hold individuals accountable for staying connected in treatment as well as serving as a liaison to navigate and map out the often complicated and ever changing landscape of treatment providers in the community,” The county hopes to fill this position in early 2020 and then get the entire program on track shortly afterward.
This is an exciting new approach and the Coalition Board will share new developments as we learn them.