Fort Valley Police launches program to help mental illness defendants

Accountability court program aims to help mental illness defendants get the support they need.

FORT VALLEY, Georgia (KBTV) – Fort Valley Police are launching a program in efforts to reduce the incarceration rates in the area.

The accountability courts program aims to help mental illness defendants get treatment rather than jail or prison time. Chief Lawrence Spurgeon says petty crimes like panhandling, or loitering are just a few things that these patients get arrested for but it’s really a cry for help.

Spurgeon adds when instances like these happen, law enforcement have to make contact with the person which can sometimes end in tragic. With referrals from judges, probation officers, and other community leaders, Spurgeon believes they can get help before it’s too late.

Funds will come from the city of Byron, Fort Valley, and the commission. The program should be up and running by mid April.

Here’s a link to the story: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RiFQOtXf_PA

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