Kentucky launches judicial commission on mental health


FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Supreme Court has launched a commission aimed at improving the judicial system’s approach to cases involving mental health, substance use and intellectual disabilities.

The new Kentucky Judicial Commission on Mental Health will work to improve the practice, quality and timeliness of the judicial response to cases involving those needs.

“The prevalence of mental illness, substance use disorder and intellectual disabilities in our society is undeniable,” Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. said Thursday.

“For courts and our justice system, this prevalence has a disproportionate impact as the justice system has become the default system for addressing the needs of those with behavioral and mental health issues,” he added. “And our state prisons and county jails are, without question, the largest providers of mental health services in this state.”

Supreme Court Justice Debra Hembree Lambert will chair the commission.

Lambert is a certified suicide prevention trainer and a former Drug Court judge.

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