Courting Better Mental Health in Adams County
Nearly 20% of Colorado inmates have a serious mental illness. Their average jail stay is 121 days compared to 25 days for inmates with no mental illness. Compound that with their high rate of recidivism, and the cost is more than $34M annually to each county budget.
The need for mental health services spans all ages and circumstances - including thousands of individuals involved in the court system. To address this need, Community Reach Center partners with Adams County to offer jail-based and outpatient programs designed to effectively treat inmates, probationers and parolees with behavioral health challenges. Criminal Justice Services provide individuals with resources necessary to develop stable, productive lifestyles, and break the costly repetitive cycling through the justice system. Clients can access Criminal Justice Service through a referral by an agent of the justice system or they can outreach on their own behalf.
Kali Cordes, a Community Reach counselor at the Adams County Justice Center since October 2015, says that these services are especially important for people who are dealing with a court case. Cordes works with Adams County's adult specialty courts to conduct mental health evaluations for individuals the court believes may have mental health concerns. She helps clients complete intake applications to access treatment with Community Reach Center and provides the court with monthly reports on client progress.
Once individuals have completed an evaluation and intake application, Ms. Cordes schedules therapy appointments for them with Community Reach Center's "Justice, Accountability, and Recovery" (JAR) team. The JAR team specializes in working with clients that are involved in the criminal justice system. Each individual's care is coordinated to provide all necessary treatment and other supportive services -- such as housing assistance, vocational counseling and medical services.
"The best thing about my job is getting to see clients work hard to improve and change their lives," said Cordes. "I enjoy collaborating with the specialty court teams to provide more holistic care to the clients and learning about the court and criminal justice system so that I can better serve our clients."
For more information regarding Criminal Justice Services, please contact Program Manager, Andrea Turk, at (303) 853-3591or visit www.CommunityReachCenter.org.