In Cowlitz County, Washington, commissioners have approved hiring a county mental health court coordinator. According to The Daily News Online, this individual will work with clients "with mental disorders who face misdemeanor charges and whose cases are handled through District Court."
The interview process is underway and the plan is to have the position filled within six to eight weeks. The purpose of this new position is to connect the mentally ill offenders with mental health providers to get them the help they need and prevent further trouble from occurring.
According to the article:
“You want to address these folks when they are committing misdemeanors and not felonies, to stabilize them and get them engaged in mental health services” so they do not commit more serious offenses, Cowlitz Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning said.
The funds for the program are being gathered from The Southwest Washington Behavioral Health Regional Support Network and the county's mental health sales tax.