Daviess Co. among 10 other Kentucky counties chosen for behavioral pilot program

Daviess Co. among 10 other Kentucky counties chosen for behavioral pilot program
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 7:11 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DAVIESS CO., Ky. (WFIE) - A new behavioral pilot program is coming to select Kentucky counties. Officials from the Administrative Office of the Courts and Department for Behavioral Health announced the program this week.

Daviess County is one of 11 counties that were selected to participate in the program. The program will place people charged with crimes into behavioral health treatment instead of behind bars.

Lisa Payne Jones, Chief Circuit Judge of Daviess County, says when Senate Bill 90 was passed by the legislature this summer, some discoveries were made.

Jones says during the legislative process officials realized that a lot of the people who are incarcerated in Kentucky have some type of mental illness. Jones says some individuals that commit a crime are better off receiving treatment in public rather than being incarcerated because of that fact.

”Where oftentimes the mental illness can escalate because it’s not getting treated and because of the high-stress environment of the jail system, but also they’re maybe not receiving medications not attending appointments,” said Jones.

Officials say if an individual in the program is successful, they will have the opportunity to have their criminal charges dismissed. Jones says a start date is not yet determined.

Rachel Pate, Mental Health Division Director for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, says Daviess County is familiar with taking an individual’s mental state into consideration and they are glad they were chosen to be a part of the pilot program.

“It’s always nice that you are looked at as a pilot county,” said Pate. “That they see the success that you’re having in your other alternative programs or your court system, but because we work so close together we want to make sure that it’s effective.”

Pate says she’s hopeful for what this could mean for the county and the state.

Click here to read more about Senate Bill 90.