(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton and Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced that the Advisory Committee on Mental Illness and the Courts (ACMIC) will evolve into the Attorney General's Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Illness, allowing the group to expand into areas beyond the court system. The new advisory committee will be co-chaired by Justice Stratton and Attorney General DeWine, and will have its first meeting on December 12 at 1:30 p.m. at the Ohio Supreme Court.
"I am pleased to be partnering with Attorney General DeWine to broaden the mission of the task force beyond the court system. We have accomplished much in the past 10 years, but I believe this expansion will take our mission to a new level," said Justice Stratton.
"I have worked with Justice Stratton for a long time on the issue of mental health and the courts and look forward to tackling the issues of mental health and the criminal justice system on a broader level," added Attorney General DeWine.
Founded in 2001, ACMIC was initially tasked with developing solutions for the revolving door issue of persons with mental illness trapped in the criminal justice system. In the past 10 years, the group has helped establish 37 mental health courts, promoted the training of 4,580 CIT law enforcement officers in 76 of 88 counties, made recommendations for changes to Medicaid, and advocated for a new Juvenile Competency Statute.
Attorney General DeWine and Justice Stratton have also collaborated on the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) at the national level when Attorney General DeWine was a U.S. senator. The MIOTCRA program helps identify, treat and supervise persons with mental illness who otherwise would cycle in and out of the justice system.
Attorney General DeWine also announced that his office has given a grant of $60,000 to the Ohio Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). NAMI will use the funds for an evidence-based curriculum designed to train law enforcement personnel around the state in responding to persons with mental illness.
The money for the grant was made available from fines received through the work of the Charitable Law Section of the Attorney General's Office which, among other duties, licenses non-profit organizations that raise money through bingo and enforces regulations related to charitable gaming.
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Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti: 614-466-3840