Leaders of CAJE gather at mental health summit

Leaders of CAJE gather at mental health summit

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Leaders of CAJE, or Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment, gathered at a mental health summit Friday. There they discussed their mission to bring a new crisis care center to the area.

The leaders just took a group to Texas to tour a similar crisis care center as part of their research and now they say they're more optimistic than ever.

At the potential care center, non-violent criminals with mental health issues could avoid going to jail or the emergency room by getting help.

It would be staffed by a psychiatrist and several nurses.

Another new idea is a separate sobering center. This would be for people who get in trouble frequently for being drunk in public. They could sober up with EMTs on hand and then have options to prevent them from having to come back.

"When they do sober up, they could go into treatment there or they're free to go," said Cindy Ledbetter.

Their research shows that in 2014, the top 24 people repeatedly arrested for public intoxication spent time behind bars. That cost $40,000.

Two local organizations are now showing interest in housing the centers.

At CAJE's rally in April, officials plan to announce who will be part of the mental health commission. And by their "action" event later that month, they expect to have more details to share. In the meantime, they're still researching and looking at funding options.

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