No More Revolving Door

Press Release

By:  Evelyn Stratton
Date: May 13, 2008
Location: Columbus, OH


Justice Stratton helped form The Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Mental Illness in the Courts (ACMIC), with the goal of improving our system of criminal justice for those who suffer from mental illness and addiction- those who find themselves "caught up in the revolving door of our criminal justice system".

The goal of the committee is to focus on creating mental health courts. A person with a mental illness is supported by a team - mental health treatment, drug and alcohol counseling and housing assistance - all designed to deal with the illness and get them out of prison and back into community care.

ACMIC has expanded its efforts to include the development of the Crisis Intervention Team training for law enforcement so that officers are equipped to respond to a call about a person with a mental illness in a safe and humane way. Justice Stratton and ACMIC have been successful in obtaining new sources of state and federal funding for its programs. In 2001, such a comprehensive system-wide approach to the issue of mental illness in the courts was unprecedented. Today, the Ohio model is emulated throughout the country.

"By our involvement, we seek to shatter the revolving door that has developed. Our mental health courts, diversion programs and re-entry efforts will help with that transformation. All the money we spend warehousing persons with mental illness in jail and prison can be channeled to mental health care, job training, housing- permanent solutions, not just a revolving door. This also improves public safety." -Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton