The Fourth Circuit Leadership Team on Mental Health and Criminal Justice presented a multi-county cooperative proposal to the Nodaway, Atchison, Gentry, Holt and Worth County Commissioners October 20 at the Nodaway County Administration Center.

The leadership team, including Jennifer Vernon, juvenile officer with the Fourth Judicial Circuit Juvenile Office, and Associate Judge Robert Rice who serves as chair, reviewed the progress the committee has made over the last six months with funding received from the state’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative grant. They also introduced the next phase of their plan.

Last December, the leadership team created a two-phase approach. The first addressed the urgent lack of local mental health resources and included crisis intervention counseling services and training for law enforcement, alternative treatment court programs, a local after-hours hotline and more. The second phase is designed to sustain the first by establishing a multi-county community mental health cooperative.

The commissioners will now take the information presented back to review and decide if the cooperative is something they want to pursue.

The Nodaway News Leader will share more about the program in the coming weeks.

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