Here’s one big step in the right direction. Mentally ill, low-level offenders are getting an alternative program in the Los Angeles area, according to the LA Times today. The $756,000 program will offer transitional housing, help with job hunting and medical treatment. It’s a pilot project, but officials say in the article it could spread around the country. People who complete the program could have their pending criminal charges cleared.
A program in Miami has seen success and recidivism rates there have dropped dramatically for people with mental illness and low-level misdemeanor charges, according to the piece.