In comments to 27 News after his victory, D.A. Ozanne said, “I’m really excited to talk about mental health and trying to identify mental health issues in the system sooner and to get people connected to treatment and counseling…”
Establishment of a mental health law court would be an important step in efforts to make the criminal justice system work better for those with mental illness. NAMI-Dane County and other advocates have been pushing for such a court for some time with no success. Energetic support from the D.A. could make a big difference.
The Washington Post editorialized in favor of such courts, pointing out that over 300 of them had been established throughout the country. Read about them here. The Justice Center of the Council of State Governments offers an extensive list of publications including information on how to establish a court, collect data on effectiveness and the research underlying the idea. Read about the publications here.