As a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney, I have observed over the years the criminal justice system’s failure with regard to mentally ill defendants. Answers, far too often, were geared toward locking these defendants away, rather than attacking the root cause of the problem. However, as a Jacksonville citizen, I am pleased and excited that there are those that wish to change the climate regarding the way the system deals with mentally ill individuals. According to the Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville is looking to emulate some of the methods employed by Miami-Dade that have led to success over the years with regard to issues relating to the mentally ill.
Derek Gilliam of the Times-Union writes, “Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge Karen Cole organized the delegation that traveled to Miami because she believes the area’s court system could be better when dealing with the mentally ill. She said in Jacksonville mentally ill defendants, especially ones charged with low-level misdemeanors, aren’t identified by the courts or directed to services.” Miami-Dade has managed to save millions of dollars and decrease recidivism among mentally ill defendants by focusing on treatment and training officers how to deal with these individuals. Police related shootings involving the mentally ill have dropped drastically, as well.
If you have a family member that suffers from a mental illness and is also charged with a crime, the Law Office of David M. Goldman PLLC has experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers that can help. Call today at (904) 685-1200 for a free initial consultation to learn how.