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Scott County Mental Health Court secures funding for second year

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The Scott County Mental Health Court will get another year to help participants on the road to recovery.

On Friday, June 30, Genesis Philanthropy pledged $75,000 to continue the program through its second year. The group originally donated $50,000 for first-year costs.

Mental health court helps non-violent offenders manage their mental health symptoms, rather than put them behind bars.

"To be able to work with people who are really dedicated to recovery and to bettering and improving their lives, their families' lives, their children's lives, is an honor, and it's really exciting to see that happening," said Courtney Stenzel, care coordinator for the Scott County Mental Health Court.

Thirteen people are currently using the program to get their lives back on track, including Al Ramsey.

Without mental health court, Ramsey says he would be dead or in prison.

"I was facing 30 years of incarceration for my crimes. My mental health diagnosis causes me to self-harm, and I've had three suicide attempts in the past. Any one of them could have been fatal," said Ramsey.

Diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, Ramsey says the program has helped him put the pieces of his life back together.

"They've put me in therapy twice a week. They've helped me with parenting, and how to watch what I eat, drink, how it can affect my medications that I'm taking," said Ramsey. "It's given me self-confidence. It's given me my life back. My life was destined for failure, utter failure, and it's given me a sense of joy," said Ramsey.

Participants must make it through five levels of supervision before any criminal charges are dismissed.

In the first year, the program saved Scott County roughly $160,000 in jail costs.