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Many Prisoners With Mental Illness To Get Shorter Sentences Under New City Initiative

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TWC News: Many Prisoners With Mental Illness To Get Shorter Sentences Under New City Initiative
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A new city initiative announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Sunday will try to get people with mental illness out of jail and into proper treatment.

The mayor said the new plan putting court-based teams together in each borough to collect information on defendants' mental care needs.

The teams will judge each defendant's risk of flight and re-arrest and recommend an appropriate response from the courts, which could include less or no jail time.

The initiative hopes to reduce incarceration rates, improve jail safety and lower crime.

The mayor's office says 36 percent of inmates in the city have some level of mental illness, compared to less than 25 percent in 2005.

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