New charges added making someone eligible for Mental Health Jail Diversion Center
FORT WORTH (CBSNewsTexas) – Disorderly conduct and terroristic threats, are among a list of new…
FORT WORTH (CBSNewsTexas) – Disorderly conduct and terroristic threats, are among a list of new charges that will make someone in Tarrant County eligible to avoid jail when picked up by police, and instead be taken to a mental health diversion center.
County jail staff will also be able to make a determination on diverting people to the center, even if local law enforcement takes them to the jail.
Violent crimes, or anyone with a history of violent charges, are still ineligible for the center.
County commissioners approved the eligibility expansion a week after a report showed admissions to the center were far short of capacity. Criminal trespassing, often involving people who are homeless, was the first criminal charge that made someone eligible.
Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks said the county would work to assure local officers that diversion to the center is encouraged, and officers would not suffer consequences for deciding to take someone there, instead of jail.
Tarrant County spent nearly $20 million in 2021 to buy the Mental Health Jail Diversion Center in Fort Worth and cover operating expenses through the end of 2023.
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