Dallas pilot program offers alternative for mentally ill offenders.

Author:Ferreria, Jeanelle
Position::News Briefs - Outpatient competency program by misdemeanor and felony courts in Dallas, Texas - Brief article

A new program would allow mentally ill, nonviolent defendants in Dallas' misdemeanor and felony courts to seek outpatient treatment to regain competency, reported The Dallas Morning News. These defendants would no longer be required to wait months in the Dallas County Jail for treatment before assisting in their own cases. Defendants face trial or make plea bargains once they regain competency, in many cases avoiding incarceration altogether. Last year, the program saved $300,000 this way. Judge Doug Skemp, who began overseeing misdemeanor cases for the...

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