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When A Person with Mental Illness is Arrested: How to Help

NAMI New York State in a joint project with the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project has published a handbook called "When a Person is Arrested: How to Help".

In this handbook you will find general advice as to what procedures to follow when a person with mental illness is arrested.

This handbook covers information that will answer questions such what to do, how to find a person who has been arrested, working with a defense attorney, practical tips on dealing with defense attorneys, laws relating to people with mental illness, advocating for a defendant to be sentenced to treatment, advocating for discharge planning, advocating for someone on probation or parole, clearing up a warrant, and so much more.

By creating this book, they hope to encourage local organizations concerned about the plight of mental health consumers in the criminal justice system, including NAMI Affiliates and county mental health agencies to research essential phone numbers for their counties, and create an insert with these, and distribute the handbook to people in their area. The last section of the handbook was created to help locals get started on this task, if they wish to take it. This section can help you get started by compiling a phone list for your town, and if you live in New York City, you can view that version here.

To get informed, please visit, or

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