There has been some buzz regarding Judge Andy Brown’s intention to launch a new mental health diversion center program in Travis County.
Travis County New Mental Health Diversion Center
The goal of the pilot program is to assist in transferring individuals in crisis and accused of crimes to the necessary mental care rather than being imprisoned.
The pilot program, with an estimated cost of $6 million, may be operated in the old Ronald McDonald House on East 15th and Trinity as well as a facility on Airport Boulevard.
Travis County also disclosed an approximately $2 million plan to strengthen the data sharing system between the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Police Department, medical entities, and homelessness organizations, according to Community Impact.
Brown stated that the pilot program will assist the county in determining which strategies work and which do not before constructing a permanent diversion center.
Travis County officials must also determine if it is legally possible to take individuals who are accused of nonviolent offenses to the mental health diversion center, where they could avoid the criminal justice system.
The proposals and recommendations presented by a group of experts in March, were also addressed and discussed by the county and local authorities, according to KVUE.