As we speak, Mayor Michael Nutter — perhaps shedding his “Michael Nada” identity for the moment — is at the Criminal Justice Center with D.A. Lynne Abraham, along with a panel of judges, announcing the creation of the City’s first-ever Mental Health Court, which “will provide alternative supervision to eligible offenders who need specialized mental health treatment.” And that is the sum total of what we know right now about this new court — which seems strange. There’s been no press release, Googling brings up almost nothing, and hell, there’s not even anything about it on Spikol’s blog. And there should be — crime is different for people with mental health issues, and the fact that after hundreds of years, Philadelphia has finally put together a court specifically to address that is… progress, no? So why the media blackout? Are the gang assembled too self-conscious about their various and sundry “tough on crime” stances to really blow their horns about this one? Or did is just get lost in the holiday shuffle?
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