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Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 2:55am

Mental Illness And Crime

County sheriffs across Georgia are awaiting results of an ongoing study aimed at determining how to better care for mentally ill people who are accused of crime.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is partnering with the Georgia chapter of the National Alliance of Mentally Ill for the study.

GBI Director Vernon Keenan said the project is designed to prevent the acutely mentally ill from routinely being incarcerated. He said solutions will benefit mentally ill people. He said better approaches will also result in significant savings for taxpayers if ways are found to avoid arresting people and jailing them multiple times, often for minor offenses.

The study involves patients from Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah. They're assigned to caseworkers who monitor their medications and lifestyle.