- Associated Press - Monday, December 12, 2016

PEKIN, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois county is now home to a special court that will handle cases involving people with mental health issues.

The Pekin Times reports (https://bit.ly/2gxFkAK ) Tazewell County opened its new Mental Health Court last week.

Chief Public Defender Luke Taylor says the court will work with offenders to address problems with counseling and medication, with a goal of keeping them out of jail.

Officials say the Tazewell County jail houses about 500 people each year with mental health issues that range from minor to severe, and many are repeat offenders. They say it costs much more to hold and feed them in the jail than the $40,000 the county board earmarked for the new court.

Taylor says the team running the court is “extremely motivated to help these people.”

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Information from: Pekin Daily Times, https://www.pekintimes.com


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