As the Denver District Attorney, I see the intersection of mental health and criminal justice almost every day. We don’t do a very good job of addressing those with mental health issues in our system. The jails have become warehouse for those with mental health issues. There are several things I have been doing and will continue to do if I am re-elected as Denver’s District Attorney.
1) I meet monthly with my Mental Health Advisory Council to discuss these issues and educate myself about what is happening and where there are gaps
2) I support our robust co-responder program whereby mental health workers ride with police officers and take the lead in responding to calls involving mental health/substance abuse issues. DPD has just started the STAR program whereby a medical and mental health person respond together to calls without police.
3) I am on the Board of Caring 4 Denver which will be providing funds to service providers throughout Denver who are addressing mental health needs
4) My office participated in establishing the diversion program for people who are found to be incompetent to stand trial
5) My office works with the court navigators to find restoration services in the community for those need restoration to compentcy.
6) When I was in the legislature, I worked on amending the language in our laws relating to mental health holds.
I will continue to seek solutions to the issues involved in the intersection of mental health and criminal justice. Thank you for your support.