County ‘Stepping Up’ to Help the Mentally Ill

The Norman Transcript

By Norman Transcript Staff

Across the nation, counties are recognizing that best practices for reducing the number of people with mental illness in jail are a win-win for county taxpayers, those who are suffering from these disorders and for those who work to maintain a safe and healthy environment in a jail setting.

On Monday, Cleveland County became one of a handful of Oklahoma counties to pass a Stepping Up resolution to commit to reducing the number of people with mental illness in jail. According to the Stepping Up website, Cleveland County may be only the third in the state to adopt this resolution, with the other two being Grant and Tulsa counties.

“This resolution shows our commitment to a healthier county and jail environment,” County Commissioner Darry Stacy said. “We were happy to support the sheriff who administers the jail and brought this initiative to us.”

Recognizing the critical role local and state officials play in supporting systems change, the National Association of Counties (NACo), the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and the Council of State Governments Justice Center launched the Stepping Up initiative in May 2015.

Stacy, who chairs the NACo Homeland Security and Emergency Management Committee, knows the value of the collective experience of NACo as it unites counties across the nation to improve services through local governmental actions.

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