Dougherty Co. mental health court to expand - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. mental health court to expand

Dougherty County's nationally recognized mental health court is expanding to offer a service to help non-violent, first offenders stay on track. (Source: WALB) Dougherty County's nationally recognized mental health court is expanding to offer a service to help non-violent, first offenders stay on track. (Source: WALB)
Dougherty Superior Court Judge Steve Goss (Source: WALB) Dougherty Superior Court Judge Steve Goss (Source: WALB)
DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

Dougherty County's nationally recognized mental health court is expanding to offer a service to help non-violent, first offenders stay on track.

Dougherty Superior Court Judge Steve Goss requested close to $24,000 to pay for two part-time positions for the circuit's mental health and substance abuse program.

Goss said the program has resulted in lowered recidivism and fewer people in the jails.

The two POST certified deputies will provide random check-ins for first offenders who are not on state probation, providing a level of supervision the county has never had before.

"Because of that, they are not on state probation, hence, we don't have the capacity to supervise them with probation officers like many of our participants are. So this would just add a level of supervision and accountability in the community with law enforcement," said Goss.

The money will come from the Drug Abuse Treatment and Education state fund given to the county for specific services like counseling.

Since Dougherty County started the state's first mental health court, 48 out of 49 Georgia circuits have a treatment court of some kind.

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