Mentally Ill Inmates Made a Priority

Hands holding bars of a jail cell
Tampa -

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Lewis is trying to stop what he calls the revolving door of mentally ill inmates cycling in and out of county jails and state prisons.

The top justice appointed a special advisor to the court and told him to figure out how to find appropriate treatment of criminals while in custody and continued care when they're released.

Lewis says mentally ill people get in trouble with the law - many times on minor matters - and end up in Florida's justice system. He estimates that 70,000 mentally ill people are arrested and jailed every year in Florida.

So, the Chief Justice appointed Miami-Dade Judge Steve Leifman as special advisor on criminal justice and mental illness. Lewis and Leifman plan to meet weekly to keep with developments and come up with solutions.

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