Police Overwhelmed by Mentall Ill Abandoned by Mental Health System
In Fort Bend County, the mentally ill are generally treated at the Fort Bend County Jail at a cost of $150/day to the taxpayer. As I said before, it cost $10 to $20 to treat a mental health patient at a community health center. We have established a Fort Bend Mental Health Public Defenders Office to try and identify these folks (many who are repeat offenders) and get them treatment and out of the criminal justice pipeline. The Mental Health Public Defenders Office is doing a great job, much better than I hoped. We have cut the time of days these mental health patients are in the jail and have follow up monitoring to make sure they remain on their medicines. More work needs to been done, but we are certainly in the forefront in Texas on trying to come up with a workable solution.