The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 25, 2013

Mental Health Court program making a difference

(Continued)

Having a stable participant is better for the offender's family, for the neighbors, for police officers; it's better for overfull state mental hospitals and prisons, too, he said.

Actually, added the judge, it's also good for taxpayers. Being in the probation and parole system costs $3.66 per offender per day. A system like the Mental Health Supervision Program may cost more — but not as much as the $84.85 it costs to spend a day in prison.

So the mental health program is less expensive, "and we think more effective," said Daily.

But the main reason the judge and the officer do the job is because they can see the difference they're making.

"We show them ... this isn't just about meeting the terms of your probation," said Daily. "This is about changing your life."

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