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Texas Collaborative Calls for Response to Mental Health Crises

In today's Solution of the Day, a collaborative offers a solution that would divert people with mental illnesses from receiving prison sentences by helping them seek treatment

The Gulf Bend Community Collaborative in Victoria, Texas recently approached federal legislators for a $11.6 million four-year plan to divert people with mental illnesses from going to prison.

The collaborative’s plan calls for 14 mental health deputies, 12 mental health caseworkers and four supervisors to respond to mental health crises and build rapport with people with mental illnesses. They would be available 24/7 in a seven-county area. Their goal is to divert people with mental illnesses from receiving prison sentences, rather than receiving the mental wellness help they need.

The plan is targeted to people with mental illnesses who have been to court and been found “not guilty.” Currently the probation department supervises such individuals and meets with the defendant and a case manager from the local mental health authority. However, Gulf Bend Community Collaborative’s plan wishes to primarily address the underlying illness rather than punish them for a crime that might be a symptom of an untreated illness.

Read the full story here (via Victoria Advocate)

Here’s what else we’re reading:

Guess Who’s for a Carbon Tax Now

A carbon tax plan written by the Climate Leadership Council proposes taxing each ton of carbon emissions and returning the profits to American citizens through a quarterly tax dividend. Suncor Energy, Shell and BP are interested in a carbon tax because they realize the potential pitfalls of climate change. Only time will tell if the carbon tax will work, encouraging sustainable manufacturing while returning profits to citizens. (via The New York Times)

Fighting Gun Violence By Treating It Like a Disease

A program in Detriot known as D.L.I.V.E.  provides counseling services to victims and perpetrators of gun violence, while encouraging participants to engage in positive community outreach. Ray Winans, a violence intervention specialist with the Sinai Grace Hospital, works to support victims of gun violence through the grant-funded program. D.L.I.V.E is almost finished with its first year of operation, after which it will be eligible for inclusion in the National Network of Hospital-based Violence Prevention Programs. (via CityLab)

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