MARQUETTE – Marquette County’s new Jail Diversion Center is now open. The facility is aimed at reducing the number of people with disabilities or mental illnesses from entering the corrections system.
A person arrested for a non-violent misdemeanor who is suspected of having a mental illness will now be brought to the diversion cells. Their record would be checked and an on-call mental health specialist from Pathways would then do an evaluation.
This will save time and increase efficiency says Sheriff Greg Zyburt.
“You’re talking about the prosecutor’s time, the court time, probation officer’s time. If you can help divert these people with a problem–it could be something as simple as not being on their meds, there’s a whole array of different incidents it could be–you get them out of the system,” he said.
A $260,000 grant was awarded to Pathways for the construction of the facility. That money paid for the construction of the two diversion cells, and will cover extra labor costs incurred.