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New Option for Non-violent Suspects with Mental Illness in Scott Co.

Scott County Judge, Mark Smith, will oversee the mental health court.
Michelle O'Neill

Scott County now has a mental health court, thanks to support from several organizations . This morning, the Quad Cities Interfaith Restorative Justice Task Force announced it's a one year demonstration project that will begin immediately.

Scott County Judge Mark Smith says the court system doesn't have the resources to treat people with mental illness. And he'll oversee the new specialty court.

Genesis Philanthropy donated $50,000 to launch the Scott County mental health court. And Ken Croken, from Genesis Health System, says the system will provide office space for staff from Transitions Mental Health Rehabilitation. Transitions will coordinate Scott County's Mental Health Court.

Eventually, we would like to expand the mental health court to serve residents in all the counties in the eastern Iowa mental health service district.

Once a person is screened and accepted into the program, he or she will be intensively supervised through five treatment phases. The person must make progress to advance, such as taking medications, going to court appearances and other appointments, and following a care plan designed to increase stability.

Rock Island County implemented its mental health court in 2007 and helped the task force develop Scott County's new program.

Watch the press conference:

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