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Giving life back: Forsyth County CARE Court is an alternative to jail for felons with mental illness
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Attorney Andrew Richman said unlike other parts of the legal system, all parts of CARE Court are working with the participants’ best intentions in mind, particularly having a judge invested in their outcome. - photo by Micah Green
In the past, when a person suffering mental illness was arrested in Forsyth County there was little the courts could do except throw them in jail, but a local court is working to provide a better solution for those who need one. The Superior Court of Forsyth County’s Mental Health Change, Assist, Restore and Enlighten, or CARE, Court was launched in 2014 as a way to deal with those in the court system who have severe and persistent mental illnesses. “People who are charged with felonies, we do have a few that are charged with misdemeanors, they come into our program for supervision, so that as a judge I can help them find out what caused them to violate the law and what is going on with their mental health, with their overall health and what needs to change to make them become a productive member of society,” said Judge Leslie Abernathy-Maddox, who presides over the court.