County Commission Votes To Match $120,000 Raised Privately For Program Aimed At Removing Those With Mental Health Issues From The Jail

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The County Commission on Wednesday voted to match the $120,000 raised privately to date for a program aimed at removing those with mental health issues from the county jail "revolving door."

Commissioner David Sharpe offered the amendment and it was approved 8-1. Commissioner Greg Martin said it was a worthwhile project, but should have been vetted through the normal budget process.

Albert Kiser, county finance administrator, said the $120,000 would come from the county fund balance. He said it has $100 million - up $6 million from last year.

Sheriff Jim Hammond said the program is based on successful ones in place in Charlotte, N.C., Nashville and Memphis.

He said more funding is needed, even with the county match, but he said, "The funding is falling into place."

The state recently declined to award the county a $3.3 million grant over five years. However, Sheriff Hammond said State Mental Health Commissioner Marie Williams had asked for a meeting with him in Chattanooga next week.

Sheriff Hammond said an ACT Team is being formed to begin operation of the program.

The sheriff has long contended that many of the jail inmates have mental issues and the jail is ill equipped to deal with them. He said money going for jail expenses could much better be used for housing and treatment for those individuals. 

Donors so far include $10,000 from Unum; $20,000 from the Commmunity Foundation of Greater Chattanooga; $25,000 from the Osborne Foundation; $25,000 from CHI Memorial and $40,000 from the Maclellan Foundation. 

Even if the new program gets into operation, Sheriff Hammond said the plan will still be to eventually close the downtown jail and make improvements to existing facilities at Silverdale as well as building more capacity.

He said there was a discussion this week about the initial $20 million needed for Silverdale updates and for additional space to house females. He said there are over 300 female inmates at Silverdale.

The commission also approved a contract with Bowen & Bowen, LLC, that has been handling fundraising and publicity on the effort. It is planned to cover its $1,500 per month fee from donations rather than county funds.


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Jan. 10-16

Upcoming City Council Agenda


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ALLEN, CORY TANNER 25 LINK RD CHATTANOOGA, 374051779 Age at Arrest: 29 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga Booked for Previous ... (click for more)

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Jan. 10-16: 01-10-2020 David Lee Farmer, 41, of 436 East Fork Lane, Crawford, TN arrested on a charge of violation of Georgia’s controlled substance ... (click for more)

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order by Chairman Oglesby. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Ledford). III. Special Presentation. ... (click for more)


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Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ALLEN, CORY TANNER 25 LINK RD CHATTANOOGA, 374051779 Age at Arrest: 29 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- ALMOND, KORY LANE 1201 REEVES AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37412 Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Red Bank Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Jan. 10-16

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Jan. 10-16: 01-10-2020 David Lee Farmer, 41, of 436 East Fork Lane, Crawford, TN arrested on a charge of violation of Georgia’s controlled substance act, possession of methamphetamine. Barbara Ann Wooden, 57, of 1600 Puryear Drive, Dalton arrested on an outstanding warrant. Rebecca Gayle Emerson, 44, of 25 Hickory Circle, ... (click for more)

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