Jessica Lipscomb reports:
In recent years, Miami-Dade County has been held up as a model for how the criminal justice system should handle people with mental illness or developmental disabilities. Much of that can be attributed to the work of Circuit Judge Steve Leifman, who created a jail diversion program for those with mental illness and developed a framework for “crisis intervention training” to help cops handle calls involving people with mental health issues.
Now, Commissioner Rebeca Sosa wants to take the county’s efforts one step further. This week, she proposed a voluntary registry that would help Miami-Dade police identify residents with disabilities and mental illness.
Read more on Miami New Times.
And did you know that if this registry goes into effect, it won’t be the first of its kind in this country?
Now I can picture a lot of reasons for people to jump up and down and yell about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions and the possible misuse of these registries, etc. But before you do, please stop, breathe in and out verrrrry slowly at least 10 times, and then think about the pros and cons. And if you think, on balance, that a registry could be a Good Thing, what else needs to be put into place to support it – like training for police as to how to deal with individuals with different types of challenges?