Sheriff: Jails ‘now repository for mentally ill’
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Jails are quickly becoming “a repository for the mentally ill” as mental health funding is cut, Sheriff Greg White says. And the problem is becoming a statewide issue, he says.
The Cole County sheriff points to a recent example where an inmate, who had been picked up on a misdemeanor charge, recently tried to hang himself after being brought back to the jail following a mental evaluation at University of Missouri Psychiatric Center in Columbia (MUPC).
White said the attempted suicide occurred after MUPC had released him back to Cole County’s custody.
This case, White says, symbolizes the problem he is seeing as a sheriff. State mental health cuts are reducing the length of time or availability of treatment for the mentally ill, he said.