After many attempts and re-attempts a major effort is now underway in San Francisco to provide crisis response teams to those in our society who are mentally ill and are in tremendous pain living on public streets. Oftentimes these illnesses degenerate into a downward cycle that includes homelessness and criminal court offenses. Crisis intervention at the court level can be "too little too late" however judges are well aware of the systemic economic and societal problems that bring offenders under their jurisdiction. With the right approach, judges can be convinced to offer alternative treatments to jail.
If the offender is willing to follow the court's recommendations and their lawyer's advice, life saving services are available. With the right advocate in charge of the case, miracles can happen. I recently took care of a very difficult case that could have resulted in many years behind bars. Instead, my client successfully worked his way back from his illness, that included substance abuse and I was able to navigate in favor of his freedom and continuing mental health assistance. It can be done!