New county programs help mentally ill in the criminal justice system

Brouwer appears on KSHB

New Johnson County Criminal Justice Coordinator Mike Brouwer is using data to improve outcomes for people in the criminal justice system.

Brouwer was recently the subject of a story about the program on KSHB-TV.

During the interview, he said, “The criminal justice system, it can be a cycle,” admitted Brouwer. “How do we get these people who maybe don't need to be in the system, how do we keep them from entering the cycle, and, if they do, how do we get them out in a way that's healthy to them and safe to the community?”

This new approach is focusing first on people with serious mental illness. Departments who serve these and other individuals can share data to track outcomes. In fact, staff from Johnson County Mental Health Center work in the jails to help address the situation.

Efforts like this and the addition of a co-responder program mean people with serious mental illness can get support from a mental health professional during their encounters with the criminal justice system.

Watch the full KSHB story below.

Tracking crime data in Johnson County

Mental Health