Gary Bradford has a long dedicated public service background in law enforcement which will be a significant asset to the Pasco County Commission in these coming years. Gary will work with Sheriff Nocco to continue to support public safety and assist first responders by ensuring making sure they have the tools necessary to complete the demands of law enforcement in the 21st Century. One of Gary’s top priorities is to keep our neighborhoods safe.
An overwhelming component of law enforcement is the mental health crisis in our society. This crisis left unchecked produces a continuing spiral demand of taxpayer dollars to a revolving door criminal justice system. Gary believes to break the cycle of recidivism we must provide alternatives from releasing individuals back into society without the coping skills and treatment necessary to become productive citizens.
The Equitas Project cost data analysis showed that the cost to treat an individual who struggles with mental illness is 1/6 less than the cost to incarcerate them. According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, on average it costs approximately $80 a day to house a regular inmate in prison; however, that rate increases exponentially when they struggle with mental illness and can increase the costs on average to approximately $130 a day. Moreover, inmates with mental illness are more likely to be incarcerated longer than other inmates. The study found that an inmate without a mental health diagnosis stayed on average 26 days in jail; on the other hand, an inmate with a mental health diagnosis’ average stay was 51 days.
Furthermore, inmates would understand their mental health diagnosis are able to reenter society. The challenge is to reprioritize the budgets of law enforcement to accommodate the demands of the mental health crisis.
A resource provided by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, outside agencies and private agencies portrays a cooperative effort and their resource partners to combat this mental health crisis.
Mental health is NOT a crime.