12/05/2012 03:38 EST | Updated 02/04/2013 05:12 EST

Court for mentally ill offenders could ease police burden:U of S study

SASKATOON - A study says police in northern and remote communities are often overburdened serving as social workers, constantly dealing with mentally ill people in their community.

The study by researchers from the University of Saskatchewan suggests setting up a problem-solving court to divert people with mental illness or addictions out of the criminal justice system.

It says the "court" could rotate through small communities or be held through video in a larger centre.

Principal investigator Arlene Kent-Wilkinson says other provinces already have them, and it's time to introduce them into Saskatchewan.

The study involved researchers from the colleges of Medicine, Psychology, Nursing, and Law, as well as the U of S Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Services.