NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — A new study from N.C. State says mental health courts reduce the number of repeat offenders and the amount of time spend in jail. In North Carolina, only five counties have active mental health courts including: Brunswick, Forsyth, Guilford, Orange, and Mecklenburg counties.
Other areas, including counties here in the East, say they would like to have the system in place but they just can’t afford it. The lacking resources are costing counties money they don’t have.
“Several years ago, a lot of the shift for providing mental health services and drug treatment services were shifted back to the local communities and the funding never came along with that,” says Craven County District Attorney Scott Thomas.
Thomas says this lack of funding is one reason why mental health courts will likely not make their way to the Craven County. Drug Court was also cut from the area because of the lack of resources and available funds.