New track added to Mental Health Treatment Court called Misdemeanor Plus

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It was the dream of Judge Sally Tarnowski. Even though she died tragically this past spring, the Mental Health Treatment Court: Misdemeanor Plus is now a reality.

The goal is to help stabilize people who are dealing with a severe mental health diagnosis, like schizophrenia, and get them out of the cycle of being on the streets and in the justice system.

It’s built upon the success of the felony level Mental Health Treatment Court, which has been in place since 2009.

Two people are already participating. And they hope to take up to about 20, in this first pilot program.

Judge Lukasavitz and the Treatment Court Coordinator, Michael Karstens, shared more at the Downtown Safety Meeting on Wednesday.

“I was a public defender in the felony mental health court many years ago. So to carry on this legacy for Judge Tarnowski is a true labor of love, for myself and the team,” Lukasavitz said.

Referrals come from the police, public defender’s office, probation, and city attorney’s office.