"An explosion of research shows mentally ill persons treated early often go on to full recovery, gain employment, respond to treatment and live productively. Yet in San Francisco, more mentally ill are in jail than in hospitals, despite a blunt conclusion by Deputy Public Defender Jennifer Johnson: "Treatment is more efficient and cheaper than incarceration."
Judge Marsha Slough relayed that message to community members, law enforcement officials and educators in attendance at West End chapter of the Gangs and Drugs Task Force's quarterly meeting on Monday at Chaffey High School.
And while the courts can only do so much, Slough said parents and the community need to intervene.
Excerpt: The Barstow Drug Court is hoping healthy activities will lead to healthier lives for recovering drug addicts.
Excerpt: As an attorney with more than three decades in his profession including 21 years with the Tulare County Counsel's Office Bob Felts knows the court system well.
Now 79 and mostly retired, Felts is part of a renewed local effort to find nonpunitive solutions for cases involving young offenders.
The outside-the-courtroom initiative is being launched by the Sequoia Community Mediation Center, a six-year-old program that focuses on resolving conflict through negotiated solutions. It's an offshoot of the Samaritan Center in Visalia.