NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) announced today that the Tennessee Building Commission has approved the Morgan County Pre-Arrest Diversion Infrastructure Grant project.  The action taken by the commission on Thursday allows Morgan County Government to proceed with the acquisition of property located at 203 North Maiden Lane in Wartburg for use in pre-arrest diversion programs.

The total project budget is $500,000.  Morgan County received the funds as part of grants awarded by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (TDMHSAS) at the urging of Yager and Windle.   These funds will go towards creating a behavioral health jail diversion program for those struggling with behavioral health needs.

“This proactive approach to help Tennesseans struggling with mental illness or substance abuse disorders will ensure better access to proper treatment and care, and in turn, will help alleviate overcrowding in jails,” said Senator Yager. “It was great to witness our state and local governments coming together to tackle such a complex issue.”

TMDHSAS will be partnering with the Morgan County Government in the development of the Pre-Arrest Diversion Infrastructure Project to achieve its primary goals to reduce or eliminate the amount of time individuals with mental illness, substance abuse, or co-occurring disorder spend incarcerated by redirection them from the criminal justice system to community-based treatment and supports.

“I look forward to seeing the positive impact this program will have on our community,” added Rep. Windle.  “I am proud of the efforts our state and local government are making towards creating a safer, healthier, and more prosperous community.”