Smith County officials discuss mental health in criminal justice system in virtual town hall

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Smith County officials held a virtual town hall meeting to discuss mental health issues in the criminal justice system.

Representatives from the criminal justice and mental health systems in Smith County discussed procedures in place now to help persons with mental illnesses survive in and navigate the criminal justice system and offered advice on resources to family members.

Speakers included:

  • Smith County Commissioner JoAnn Hampton
  • Smith County Sheriff’s Office Chief John Shoemaker
  • Pre-Trial Release Director Gary Pinkerton
  • Assistant District Attorney Thomas Wilson
  • Andrews Center Chief Executive Officer Waymon Stewart

Anyone who is in need of mental health support or services is urged to call 211, a statewide resource line, or the Andrews Center 24/7 crisis hotline at 877-934-2131 for local support and services.

Online, support and resources can be found at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI. NAMI has local chapters in Tyler, serving Northeast Texas, and Gregg County.

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