Minn. officials highlights mental illness in jails

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Law enforcement officials say Minnesota’s local jails are overburdened by inmates suffering from mental illness who aren’t getting the kind of treatment they need.

The state Senate’s Judiciary Committee held a hearing Tuesday on mental health issues facing both the state Corrections Department and county jails. Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek estimated that 25 to 30 percent of inmates in Hennepin County jails at any given time suffer some kind of mental illness, and that many of those are untreated cases.

Stanek says that often leaves jail workers forced to provide treatment despite not being qualified.

State Sen. Barb Goodwin of Columbia Heights says Minnesota is one of many U.S. states that “dropped the ball” in providing consistent mental health care for the indigent.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s