Report: Jail exceeds standards for mentally ill inmates

Posted: September 7, 2013 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

By Edith Brady-Lunny | eblunny@pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON — The McLean County jail exceeds state requirements for services that link mentally ill inmates to help once they are released, and the facility is on track to play an even bigger role in providing community mental health services.

Those were the findings in an inspection report released by the Illinois Department of corrections after an Aug. 27 evaluation of the facility in downtown Bloomington.

The efforts by Sheriff Mike Emery and county officials to address housing issues for inmates with behavioral disorders through consultation with the National Institute of Corrections were recognized by the state. The county and the institute are working on a proposal for a new mental health unit at the jail.

The expanded treatment opportunities for inmates “will provide the maximum amount of services available to the mental health community anywhere within the county,” said the report, which was released Wednesday.The jail’s policy of setting up referrals for services and providing medication to inmates as they leave custody “will greatly improve a detainee’s successful transition back to their former life,” Mike Funk, manager of IDOC jail and detention standards unit, wrote in his report.

The county is currently waiting on a final report from the NIC on possible options for construction of the new unit. It would house inmates in an area more appropriate than the booking area that currently houses special needs individuals.“When we receive the final NIC report, we will move forward with our initiative to address the housing and services for mentally ill inmates. The County Board and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will review the report and start the process for selecting the best option for McLean County,” said Emery.

The single item of noncompliance with jail standards noted in the state review related to several inmates who were sleeping on mattresses on the floor. The day of the inspection, the jail’s 225-inmate capacity was stretched to 238 with 209 male and 29 female prisoners.

The overcrowding is compounded by an inmate classification system that leaves some areas of the jail with spare beds while others are overcrowded and cannot accommodate their intended inmate population, Funk noted.

via Report: Jail exceeds standards for mentally ill inmates.

Advertisements

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

Connecting to %s