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Summary: Harris County recently identified more than 18,000 people with mental health service needs incarcerated in the county's criminal justice facilities, and Texas does not have an effective service model to treat people with mental health needs who frequently cycle through the county jails and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. SB 1185 would create a pilot diversion program in Harris County for mentally ill inmates. This bill would allow the Harris County judge and Department of State Health Services to implement and design the program.
Analysis: SB 1185 would cost the taxpayers over $10 million. However, this bill could reduce recidivism and more effectively address mental illness for incarcerated individuals. We remain neutral on SB 1185.