Mentally Ill Get Own NYC Courtroom

New program offers treatment instead of jail for approved defendants.

Thursday, Mar 17, 2011  |  Updated 9:15 AM EDT
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A new courtroom in New York City will offer treatment rather than prison for nonviolent, severely mentally ill defendants.    

Manhattan Mental Health Court will be available to defendants who volunteer and are approved by the presiding judge and the office of the Manhattan district attorney, reports The New York Post.

Those approved for the program will plead guilty and agree to court-mandated treatment.      

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman told the Post that once the treatment is completed, the charges will be reduced or dismissed.

No defendants have been approved for the program thus far.   

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