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Division of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Services

Criminal Justice and Mental Health in Tennessee

Purpose
To decriminalize mental illness by facilitating communication and collaboration between the criminal justice and mental health systems on behalf of individuals with mental illness and co-occurring disorders.

History
The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Interface was developed at the recommendation of the Criminal Justice Task Force of the TennCare Partners Roundtable. The Task Force was established in March of 1999 because of a survey of the Tennessee county jails that was conducted by a workgroup of the TennCare Partners Roundtable. The survey indicated that in 1997, 18.9 percent of persons in the county jails had a mental illness. The Task Force presented the Commissioner with a report of findings and recommendations in June of 2000. The full report and updates on the status of the recommendations are available here.

Criminal Justice and Mental Health Links