New idea: mental health courts without the crime
The model of connecting the services to the court does work," said Kathleen Connolly Lacey, program director of Citywide. "There has to be a benefit to people to participate. They work harder than they would if they got straight probation."
Here’s the problem. Right now, in San Francisco, court-ordered treatment is only offered AFTER someone commits a crime.
Jennifer Friedenbach, director of the Coalition on Homelessness, said it's one more example of the city offering services to homeless people and the mentally ill only after they become part of the criminal justice system. She and other advocates wonder why these well-regarded services aren't as readily available to mentally ill homeless people outside the courts.
Mayor Newsom: Why are you requiring your citizens with severe mental illnesses to commit a crime before being treated?