Hattiesburg Behavioral Court hosts graduation - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg Behavioral Court hosts graduation

Hattiesburg Municipal Court Senior Judge Vanessa J. Jones addresses attendees during a graduation ceremony for the Hattiesburg Behavioral Health Court. Hattiesburg Municipal Court Senior Judge Vanessa J. Jones addresses attendees during a graduation ceremony for the Hattiesburg Behavioral Health Court.
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Fourteen non-violent misdemeanor offenders who suffer from either mental health or behavioral issues were recognized for their progress in the Hattiesburg Behavioral Health Court Thursday. Eight people graduated from the program during a ceremony at Hattiesburg Municipal Court.

Six others have completed six months of the year-long treatment program.

The Hattiesburg Behavioral Health Court uses a federal grant to fund treatment for repeat offenders. It's a cost-saving alternative to incarcerating them.

"We have treatment teams and counselors that come in and help them and stabilize them where they are receiving treatment at home and not in jails," said Vanessa J. Jones, senior judge for the Hattiesburg Municipal Court.  

"It's meant a lot to me," said Britton Eiland, a graduate of the program. "It's helped me to stop hanging around some people and being a better person," he said.

The Hattiesburg Behavioral Health Court is the first program of its kind in Mississippi and is co-sponsored by the City of Hattiesburg, the Hattiesburg Police Department and Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources.

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