Conference examines mental health courts

More than half of the inmates in state prisons are estimated to suffer from serious mental health disorders yet many do not receive the treatment they need. Utah State University Social Work assistant professor David Kondrat says the first Intermountain Mental Health Court conference is scheduled to be held on June 29 and July 1. On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Tuesday, Kondrat said the public is invited to the plenary talk by journalist an author Pete Early. Early wrote the book “Crazy” about his experience with his son, who has a bi-polar illness, and his experience with the prison system. “He decided to investigate the mental health system, mental health in a court system, and mental health in a cross section of the courts, and mental illness,” Kondrat said of Early’s work. “He went to Florida and went and looked at the first mental health courts there.” Kondrat said the conference is designed to help experts in the fields of social work and criminal justice to share best practices of therapeutic jurisprudence.

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