Daviess County Fiscal Court approved a Memorandum of Agreement concerning the Mental Health Court on Tuesday, August 16.
The program was launched in 2019 with the goal of reducing recidivism for people who are struggling with mental illness.
“We noticed law enforcement getting called over and over again to certain residences,” said Circuit Court Judge Lisa P. Jones. “We developed response plans that were kept at those individuals’ houses. So when people came to check on them, they knew how to de-escalate the situation and hopefully avoid an arrest.”
Judge Jones said local leaders presented a plan to the Department of Corrections to establish the Mental Health Court, following the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM). The model identifies strategies to divert people with substance use disorders away from the criminal justice system into treatment.
Early intervention is key to improved outcomes and results in a substantial cost savings for the community through avoided incarceration.
“Mental Health Court was designed to identify these individuals and help the community work with them if they are arrested, get them out of custody and into a safe placement, and get them access to medication, services, and some of their basic needs,” Judge Jones explained.
Some of the program partners include: RiverValley Behavioral Health, the Administrative Office of the Courts, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, the County Attorney, Probation & Parole, the Public Defender, and Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.
County Attorney Claud Porter said his office has identified over $2 million in cost savings through reduced recidivism. Last quarter, the Mental Health Court was serving 216 people with a 90 percent success rate.
Fiscal Court had second reading and adoption of the 2022 Daviess County tax rates. The Court elected to take the compensating rate, reducing the real property tax from 13.4% to 13.0%. The derivative calculation for personal tangible property will drop from 16.37% to 13.84%. Tax rates on motor vehicles/watercraft, agriculture products, and bank deposits will remain unchanged.
Bids were awarded for a Row-Crop Tractor, Trailer-Mounted Trash Pump, Trommel Screen, and ¾ ton pickup truck at the Landfill. Fiscal Court also approved bids for a ½ ton pickup truck for the Maintenance Department and 12 target throwing machines at the Gun Club.
One bid was rejected for PVC Pipe at the Landfill that did not meet specifications. And the Court approved the purchase of a lawn mower for use in the Parks Department.
Daviess County Emergency Management Agency will serve as a host agency for an AmeriCorps member through the Senior Connections program with GRADD.
Fiscal Court also approved a business association agreement with the Health Department for the Medical Reserve Corps.
Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said a contractor will start mowing along the right-of-way for county roads in the next several weeks.
Commissioner Charlie Castlen presented a proclamation for the 125th anniversary of the Yelvington Camp Meeting.
Daviess County Fiscal Court is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, September 1 at 5 p.m.