Sheriff's Office Moving Forward On Plan To Move Severely Mentally Ill From The County Jail

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sheriff Jim Hammond said Wednesday that funding has come available to move forward on a plan to move the most severely mentally ill from the County Jail.

The sheriff said the outcome should be saving the county millions of dollars in incarceration costs and improving the lives of those involved.

He said the cost was $420,000 for just seven mentally ill individuals, who spent over 4,000 days at the jail.

The plan is to contract with the Corporation for Supportive Housing to help develop the program here as it has done so successfully at Charlotte, N.C., and about 30 other communities.

Janna Jahn of county development said eventually an RFP will be issued for a provider for the mental health services.

Blue Cross, CHI Memorial and the county are providing $25,000 each to pay upfront costs, which include $50,000 to the Corporation for Supportive Housing.

Another $21,000 has been raised privately, Gino Bennett of the Sheriff's Office said.

Sheriff Hammond said the Charlotte program includes some "very nice" housing for the severely mentally ill that includes staffing to assist them with medication and other needs.

He said costs of the program are mainly through state and federal funding and grants.

Sheriff Hammond said it is part of the effort to cut the number of inmates here and eventually build a new smaller jail.


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