June 4, 2018

Study On Mental Health, Substance Abuse To Inform New Marion County Facility

Last year Indianapolis purchased a plot of land between Fountain Square and Irvington, where it will build its Community Justice Campus. - Drew Daudelin/WFYI

Last year Indianapolis purchased a plot of land between Fountain Square and Irvington, where it will build its Community Justice Campus.

Drew Daudelin/WFYI

Indianapolis officials announced Monday they will conduct a study on services that address mental health and substance abuse.

Paul Babcock is director of the Office of Public Health and Safety. He says there’s a lack of treatment options for people with mental health and substance abuse issues in Marion County. But he says the city needs more details.

“So what we’d like to do is really assess the landscape, and to see what gaps exist," Babcock says, "and hopefully use that information to determine how to fill them.”

The city plans to fill that need with an Assessment and Intervention Center, part of the planned $20 million Community Justice Campus expected to open in 2021.

The project is also one piece of Mayor Joe Hogsett's efforts on criminal justice reform.

"The results of this assessment will help us design a center that effectively connects residents who encounter the justice system with the treatment and supportive services they need and keep those who don’t belong in jail, out,” Hogsett said in a statement.

City officials say they ultimately want the facility to connect all Marion County residents to the services they need, not just those in the justice system.

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