New Jersey Pushes to Keep Mentally Ill Out of Jail

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -

Three New Jersey counties are each getting $150,000 grants to divert inmates out of jail who belong in psychiatric care.

NJ.com reports Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced the move Tuesday. Gloucester, Hunterdon and Warren counties are receiving the funds.

Officials say the money will be spread over a two-year period and will be used to contract with private professionals to screen, treat and provide case management to offenders diverted from jails.

Hoffman says these services for low-level criminals with diagnosed mental disorders is a cost-effective alternative to prison and reduces the changes of the person reoffending.