SHAHEEN: SENATE APPROVES $325,000 FOR NASHUA MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM

Funding will support crime prevention program for mentally ill offenders

November 06, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced today that she has secured $325,000 for a crime prevention program at the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center that will help decrease crime in the Nashua area by expanding the Community Connections Mental Health Court Project, a collaborative effort between courts and area mental health centers that offer treatment to criminal offenders who suffer from mental illnesses. The funding was approved by the Senate as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which will now go to conference committee to be merged with the House bill.

"Counseling criminals with mental illness has shown to be highly effective in preventing future crimes," said Shaheen. "This program has already shown success, and I'm glad this funding will allow the program to expand and continue to keep Nashua safe."

The Community Connections Mental Health Court Project joins courts and area mental health centers to identify and treat criminal offenders who suffer from mental illnesses. The program diverts the offender before a criminal trial or offers sentencing alternatives to incarceration such as mental health treatment. Since 2006, 198 individuals have enrolled in the program and only five returned to the court due to program noncompliance. The additional funding will allow the program to expand its staff and increase its capacity to serve the Nashua area.

The funding was approved today by the Senate as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations legislation, which includes $7,550,000 for projects in New Hampshire.

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