Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is allocating $130 million over four years to overhaul public health services in New York City's criminal justice process, aimed at reducing the number of inmates with mental-health and substance-abuse problems in the city's jails. The goal is to break the revolving door of arrest, incarceration and release that has trapped many troubled individuals in the system for relatively minor, quality-of-life offenses. The new plan will shift emphasis from punishment for minor crimes to treatment, and divert many mentally ill and drug-addicted suspects away from troubled Rikers Island complex. The changes, which don't need city council approval, include tripling the size of both pretrial diversion programs and the amount of resources devoted to easing the transition from jail back into society.
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