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Louisiana's mental health crisis could benefit from courts ordering treatment, expert says

Louisiana's mental health crisis could benefit from courts ordering treatment, expert says

BY ANDREA GALLO | AGALLO@THEADVOCATE.COM NOV 2, 2017 - 8:01 PM

A pioneer of creating a court for the mentally ill in Texas laid out steps for Baton Rouge's health, criminal justice and government leaders to do the same and to make better use of courts ordering treatment for the mentally ill.

Oscar Kazen, a former Bexar County judge in San Antonio, spoke to a group of 40 Thursday evening at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse. He explained how a little-known 2008 Louisiana law gives the state the ability to emulate the model from its neighbor in Texas. The program known as Assisted Outpatient Treatment allows judges to order the mentally ill to treatment and rehabilitation programs rather than jail time. He said the program treats people humanely while saving both money and space in hospitals and jails.

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http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_6acd5f80-c007-11e7-9...