Northwest Indiana county to create mental health court

A northwest Indiana county is moving forward with creating a court to adjudicate cases involving mentally ill individuals.

Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez says the court is expected to accept its first defendants next month, pending final approval by the Indiana Judicial Center.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports incarcerated defendants will be placed on probation and be required to receive treatment and mentorship. They'll appear before the court monthly to update the judge on their progress.

Vasquez says those who complete the program, which could last up to 18 months, could have their cases dismissed or receive more lenient sentences.

The program won't accept registered sex offenders or those charged with first or second-degree felonies.

The county has also created programs for veterans and recently released inmates.

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