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Q&A: A Look at the Issue of Mentally Ill Inmates in Jails

About 4 to 5% of Americans are seriously mentally ill, compared with as many as 18% of those in jails, according to Risë Haneberg, who leads the Stepping Up initiative on behalf of The Council of State Governments Justice Center.

Restorative Practices Aim to Help Jailed Youth

Knowing many of the teens have been sitting in jail cells and thinking for hours about what landed them there, Bettina Graf—restorative practices lead for the San Mateo County Office of Education—focuses on helping them separate their actions from their identities before they begin classes in the county’s court and community schools.

Study: Link between Treatment Programs and Reduced Jail, Recidivism

A five-year study by the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice at Wayne State University’s School of Social Work found that diverting individuals with mental health disorders into treatment programs rather than simply jailing them significantly reduces the jail population and reduces the chances of recidivism.

Supervisors Show Support for Mental Health Initiative

The Washington County Board of Supervisors showed its support of the Stepping Up Initiative, which is aimed at reducing the number of people who have mental illnesses in county jails. The board approved a resolution during its meeting.