City of Tuscaloosa to Establish Committee on Mental Health Court
May 26, 2021
On Tuesday, May 25, Mayor Walt Maddox announced the creation of a new committee on Mental Health Court. This committee will provide recommendations for the creation of a Mental Health Court for the Tuscaloosa Municipal Court system.
The Tuscaloosa Police Department frequently interacts with individuals with mental illness, responding to 612 mental persons calls and 198 suicidal persons calls within the last year.
“Our police department is making great strides in improving interactions between officers and individuals with mental illness through increased training and the introduction of dedicated Mental Health Officers,” Mayor Walt Maddox said in his memorandum. “However, improving interactions with officers is just the first step. Our Municipal Court must have the ability to continue helping those whose mental illness has put them into contact with the criminal justice system and get these individuals the resources and treatment they need.”
The committee on Mental Health Court will help decrease the need for interactions between individuals with mental illness and law enforcement officers through treatment and intervention. Committee members will initially include the following City of Tuscaloosa employees:
Municipal Court Judge, Ricky McKinney
City Council President, Kip Tyner
Tuscaloosa Police Department Mental Health Officer, Sergeant Craig Parker
Assistant Municipal Court Administrator, Jessica Junkin
Assistant City Attorney, Kimberly King
Account and Finance Representative, Susan Snowden