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UT Dell Medical School experts recommend a new diversion center in Travis County

The group also made other recommendations to address the large number of people cycling through jail waiting for mental health services

AUSTIN, Texas — Some University of Texas Dell Medical School mental health experts recommend that Travis County plan, develop and implement a new mental health diversion center.

That's just one recommendation from the group hired by Travis County Commissioners in May of 2022 to come up with solutions to the growing number of people cycling through the jail waiting for mental health services.

The team came back with their findings this week. 

Other recommendations include modernizing the county's technology platform and establishing data use agreements to improve data sharing, piloting at least three housing programs while working on permanent housing solutions and increasing the number of certified peer specialists throughout the mental health and criminal legal systems intersection.

This was an issue the KVUE Defenders dug deep into in February.

The team also calculated that a new diversion center would cost around $30 million with an annual budget of $5 million to operate.

That report was posted Friday to Travis County Commissioners' agenda for a meeting on March 21.

Read the entire report here.

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