Bexar County criminal district courts seek state funds for mental health defense

$2 million would be used for training and treatment

Bexar County criminal district courts are working to tackle mental health by asking the state for more funding.

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County criminal district courts are working to tackle mental health by asking the state for more funding.

Judge Ron Rangel with the 379th Criminal District Court, who also presides over the felony mental health court, said a third of individuals arrested each month in Bexar County have some sort of mental health issue.

Requesting $2 million in funding from the state’s Indigent Defense Counsel would help train court-appointed attorneys to manage these cases and provide more treatment options for defendants.

“We can no longer afford, in our society, to ignore these types of mental health issues in the criminal justice system,” Rangel said.

With the goals of keeping the community safe and preventing an individual from reoffending, Rangel believes tackling mental health is a must as concerns continue to grow.

“The idea is we’ve got to put our money where our mouth is, and we’ve got to work towards solving these issues,” Rangel said.

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast South Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.