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Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Inmates To Get Help In Jefferson County

Between 1,130 to 1,150 inmates are housed per day at the Jefferson County Jail in Golden.
In that population, some inmates have substance-abuse disorders or mental illness that have either gone untreated or required the relocation of inmates.
But a recent $107,100 grant from the state will change that and, if successful, reduce incarceration time and recidivism. The money will allow the jail to contract two mental health and substance-abuse professionals to provide in-jail treatment. Inmates with substance-abuse disorder typically receive detoxification supervision and medication is made available to the mentally ill.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office grant specialist Beth Mundell said, “This (grant) will give us a chance to address those issues in the jail to not only provide seamless exit release, but immediately put them in community services that will help keep them out of jail. We are trying to reduce recidivism.”
Manager of the state’s Jail-Based Behavioral Health Services, Jagruti Shah, said, “Providing treatment services improves public safety by reducing substance use behavior and the likelihood that individuals will have further contact with the criminal justice system.”
Mike Fish, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Detention Services manager, said master-level clinicians will provide counseling and transition planners will help inmates get basic services as they move out of jail and into the community.
“If the assessment identifies them as appropriate for treatment, they will receive in-house treatment from local providers,” said Fish.
Mundell said there has been a big gap in services to inmates who exhibit both mental illness and substance-abuse disorders.
“It’s a discussion we have been having for quite some time with local service providers (such as Jefferson Center for Mental Health, Arapahoe House and Community Corrections Services),” Mundell said.
In 2007 the jail initiated a $30 booking fee to cover a transitional planner for inmates. The planner works with inmates to help connect them with the necessary community mental health services they might need upon release.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2 persons to cover a transitional population of 1100? If they are diverted before they get to jail, that would save money. This is a feel good program for the sheriff, not the prisoners who will not get the treatment that they need. At 19 my friend was in Jeffco and died in 2007 of a drug overdose because Gov Owens cut all drug rehab from the state budget. He got sent to state prison for the next 5 years with NO TREATMENT. He died because the public defender and Jeffco did not help him, but added him to the refuse pile of DOC.mpc