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Mental Health Cops Help Reweave Social Safety Net In San Antonio

Stashed in: #health, Po Po!, Texas

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Incredible idea from San Antonio: special cops that have been trained to evaluate and help people who are suffering from mental problems.

Wow, that's cool. I hope they figure out how to make this part of a lot of police programs!

Seems like the real magic is that all the agencies in San Antonio -- police, hospitals, jails, homeless, mental health, etc. -- pooled some of their resources to make the program work.

That's what it sounds like.

San Antonio and Bexar County have transformed their mental health system into a program considered a model for the rest of the nation:

Today, the jails aren't full, and the city and county have saved $50 million over the past five years.

The effort has focused on an idea called "smart justice" — basically, diverting people with serious mental illness out of jail and into treatment instead.

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