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Mental Health and Criminal Justice

November 14th, 2007 by flanews

Representatives from all three branches of Florida government attended a mental health summit at the Florida Supreme Court. A 200-page report was released. It recommends that the state spend more money on community based mental health programs for prisoners, rather than keep them in the criminal justice system. Judge Steven Leifman helped author the report. The special advisor the Florida Supreme Court says the move will save the state money in the long run.

Were going to have a much larger deficit over the next few years if they dont address these problems,” Leifman said. “Weve come up a way for them, and with them, really, that will helps them save hundreds of millions in general revenue dollars by using this federal money and by earmarking the money weve already put out there.

Leifman says Florida can serve as a model for other states in moving the mentally ill out of prisons and into community-based programs.

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