Every other year, the Texas Association of Counties' County Best Practices Awards Program recognizes noteworthy innovations and solutions that increase efficiency, improve operations or overcome obstacles.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg's office, in partnership with the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, law enforcement and other stakeholders, opened the Judge Ed Emmett Mental Health Diversion Center in 2018 to steer low-level, nonviolent offenders with mental illnesses away from jail and give them the treatment services they need. For every $1 spent on diversion, Harris County saves $5.54 on criminal justice costs, a recent study determined. The county also has cut in half the number of new jail bookings post-diversion.
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