Individuals Lives interrupted Families broken up Economic cost: inmates cannot participate as workers or consumers Public Court cost Attorney fees Cost of housing and caring for inmates etc.
Program started in October 2013 2 staff person team: Bill Mostellar, LPC Maira Argomaniz, QMHP, Case Manager Staff are officed inside the Randall County Detention Center in Amarillo Texas. Program Goal: to reduce recidivism, divert the mentally ill away from the Criminal Justice System, and alleviate suffering inside jails.
Intake/screening Facilitating psychiatric appointments Working with jail medical unit to resolve issues with client medications Case management Advocacy Linking clients to community resources Skills training Individualized counseling
Post-booking approaches: Screening, intake, case management, counseling, and psychiatric services at the jail. Pre-trial: Help restore competency on site, work with courts to promote alternatives to incarceration. Post-trial: Continue mental health treatment after sentencing while client remains at RCDC, help prepare clients for release. Post release: Follow-up with clients upon release from jail to link them to community resources and local outpatient mental health clinic.
Randal County WTAMU ARAD OSAR Pavilion TPC Programs such as MCOT and TCOMMI VA CIT Officers Municipal and Randall County Courts
Reduce cost to community- fewer public defender, court, and LE cost Improves the lives of inmates and former inmates Increases participation in employment, the economy, family
Jean has been with Texas Panhandle Centers for treatment of schizoaffective disorder since May 2013. Jean was first admitted into TPC services during an incarceration at Potter County Jail during a manic state as she was being arrested frequently due to her mental illness and not having her medication. In 2013 Jean was arrested a total of 34 times, 11 times at Potter County and 24 times at Randall County. At that time Jean lost her Medicaid and Social Security benefits and was off her medications due to heavy methamphetamine and alcohol use. Jean’s uncontrollable state of mania also led to damaging her relationship with her mother and sister, her only natural supports system. It was not until late November 2013 that Jean decided she needed to break the cycle and sought out help upon a release from jail. Jean and the Jail Diversion team worked together with the Social Security Administration to reinstated her benefits Jail Diversion also helped Jean in receiving Medicaid again. Jean was connected to an AA group in Amarillo and to date is not only 12+ months sober but has also repaired her relationship with her mother and sister. Jean and her family now have a strong relationship. For the first time in over a decade Jean is no longer homeless. She has been living independently in her own apartment, and is cleaning houses for an additional income. Jean is active with the AGAPE center and stable in her treatment. In 2014, Jean was only arrested one time and this was due to a return of manic symptoms (while still in treatment compliance). She was released on minor offenses. Thus after several changes in medications with the help of her psychiatrist and case managers, Jean lives a more stable life. She is actively working to increase her self esteem and worth, her independent living skills, and most importantly understanding that her mental illness does not define who she is a person.
Ray was referred to the Jail Diversion Program at Randall County by a municipal court judge who was seeing Ray for his initial hearing. While in jail, Ray’s hygiene and self care deteriorated rapidly. Ray was unable to participate in his legal proceedings due to catatonic symptoms. Ray would stare into space and maintain a ridged body posture for hours/days at a time and was unable to respond to verbal commands, hand gestures, or other attempts of communication. Ray’s situation was further complicated by a language barrier as Ray is an immigrant from Asia with little to no English skills. Jail Diversion staff learned that Ray had family in town and was able to contact them. His family reported that Ray had stopped speaking about 3 years ago and had not spoken to his family or anyone else since then. The Jail Diversion program was able to connect Ray to a psychiatrist who started him on a medication while he was still in jail. Though Ray was making slow improvements after starting medication, he was still suffering from a high level of symptoms when his release date arrived. Jail Diversion assisted Ray in getting into the Pavilion (local psychiatric hospital) for continued treatment following his release from jail. After several days of treatment in the hospital, Ray continued to make improvements and was released. He was referred back to Jail Diversion staff who continued to work with him in the community setting. Ray attended his first follow-up appointment with his younger brother and a family friend upon being released from the hospital. During this meeting, Ray’s brother tried to engage him in the conversation by telling jokes in their native language. At one point, Ray smiled and spoke a few words to his brother. Everyone in attendance was shocked and pleased to hear Ray speak for the first time in over 3 years. Currently Ray remains in outpatient services with TPC and continues on the path to recovery.