FLORHAM PARK BOROUGH, NJ (Morris County) – Several members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) last Friday attended the Mental Health Association’s (MHA) Annual Legislative Breakfast at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park Borough.
The goal of the MHA Breakfast is to raise awareness regarding mental health and addiction, and to advocate for the importance of treatment and services for those dealing with these issues.
Speakers at the event included New Jersey Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill; MHA CEO Bob Davison; Morris County Sheriff James Gannon; President and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Charles Ingoglia, MSW; and Director of Brain Health from the McKinsey Health Institute, Kana Enomoto. Attendees from the MCPO included First Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood, Chief Chris Kimker, Deputy Chief Robert McNally, along with members of the Prosecutor’s Office Diversion Unit, the personnel responsible for processing cases that are within the purview of the Mental Health and Veteran’s Diversion Program.
The MCPO works hand in hand with the MHA Collaborative Justice Services Program as part of the Prosecutor’s Mental Health and Veteran’s Diversion Program, which is directed towards managing criminal cases involving individuals with serious mental illness where there is a causal link between the defendant’s criminal conduct and their diagnosis.
The goal of the Diversion Program is to work with appropriate individuals who agree to comply with supervised treatment, which will decrease recidivism, reduce the rate of incarceration for those with mental illness, and create wrap around supportive services and case management so that individuals may not only recover from mental illness, but will be successful in reintegrating into the community.
In addition to the partnership with the MHA Collaborative Justice Services Program, the MCPO collaborates with the Morris County Judiciary, and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Community Connections and Hope Hub Programs, to ensure proper treatment and case resolutions for those impacted by mental illness.
“I take this opportunity to thank the members of the MCPO Diversion Unit and our outside partners for their commitment in making the Mental Health and Veteran’s Diversion Program come to fruition. Rather than processing all criminal cases through the traditional judicial system, we now have a mechanism in place that channels certain individuals who meet the required criteria into a services and support system approach to properly rehabilitate them, which should benefit those individuals, and society as a whole,” Morris County Prosecutor Carroll said.