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Bucks breaks ground at Mental Health Diversion Center site

The facility will serve adults suffering from mental illness involved in some level of the criminal justice system

Source: BucksCounty.org

The Bucks County Commissioners recently broke ground at the future site of the county’s Diversion, Assessment, Restoration and Treatment Center in Doylestown Township.

In planning since 2016, the facility on the grounds of the Bucks County Correctional Facility will serve adults suffering from mental illness involved in some level of the criminal justice system with the goal of diverting them from further penetration into the criminal justice system, including incarceration, reducing recidivism, and supporting recovery through treatment and community supports.

“We are in dire need of more mental health services across the board, but particularly in the criminal justice system,” said Commissioner vice chair Diane Ellis-Marseglia. “This center will join our successful co-responder program, our CIT training initiative, and our drug and mental health courts in not only changing lives for the better, but in bringing real value to taxpayers by channeling county resources into real solutions.”

The groundbreaking ceremony came a few weeks after the commissioners unanimously approved $16 million for the facility’s construction. Funds for the project have been allocated from federal and state grants and funding streams.

The 23,000-square-foot facility will be able to support 28 adults at any given time across its three units:

– A short-term observation unit will provide a safe place for assessment and initial access to treatment
– The “restoration to competency” unit will assist those deemed in court to be incompetent to become competent and participate in due process legal proceedings
– A residential treatment facility will provide transitional housing with treatment and daily living skill development to support successful transition to community living

The diversion center is part of the administration’s ongoing commitment to addressing the mental health and substance use crises affecting communities, while providing law enforcement and public safety professionals with the tools they need to keep Bucks County safe.

Construction is expected to begin soon and take about 15 months.

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