Hattiesburg Behavioral Health Court Graduates Another Class - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Hattiesburg Behavioral Health Court Graduates Another Class

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Hattiesburg Behavioral Health Court sends off another class of graduates.

Eight students completed the program. Behavioral Health Court was initially operating under a grant it no longer receives.

Municipal Court Judge Jerry Evans said  this program started four years ago with a 100 thousand dollar grant.

"We lost the grant," he said.

He said the money was soaked up from operational costs over the last few years, but they didn't want to end the program.

"The city is basically picking up the tab now,"he said.

The City of Hattiesburg combined an already existing position to keep the behavioral court going.

"They come in an meet with me twice a week," said Bonita Waters, program coordinator.

She said behavioral health court is for nonviolent offenders.

"They are introduced to this program it's all volunteer we don't force them to do it.," she said.

After 6 months to a year, the graduate.

"If they haven't gotten into any trouble then we will dismiss their charges," Waters said.

Judge Evans said it gives people second chances.

"They just need help," he said.

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