Intervention instead of incarceration for Louisville's low-level offenders

Getting mental health patients the right help

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A new program in Metro Louisville is offering a second chance for those picked up by police, and suffering from mental illness or substance abuse.

Centerstone opened what they call "The Living Room" last week. The space located in the organization's basement is a diversion program for people in crisis, who had been picked up by police.


"These are generally low-level offenders who we don't really want to arrest but sometimes we have to for their own safety," LMPDs Major Josh Judah said.

Located in downtown Louisville, "The Living Room" is a center full of resources.

 

They offer peer support, health checks and referrals to treatment programs.
 

It only takes police about two minutes to check someone into the program compared to a check-in process that could take up to two hours Metro Corrections. Meaning more time working the streets for LMPD.

"These are individuals that are now being given an option to move out of that difficult traumatic space they're in and be moved into a safe space where they can get settled down and settled in
, Metro Corrections Assistant Director Steve Durham said.

Jail overcrowding is a hot topic in Metro Louisville and across the state.

 

Metro Corrections officials said this program is helping by allowing those who need intervention to find it outside of the jail.

"Moving ahead, we want to make sure we're being efficient, successfully diverting individuals, keeping them in the community- not having to call police or EMS back to address the issues of the individuals that have come here," 
Centerstones Kimberly Brothers-Sharp said.

For now, the program is still in the early stages, but the hope is it will grow and reach a population that has so far been underserved in Metro Louisville.

© 2018 WHAS-TV


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