By KPIC News Staff
The Douglas County Commissioners signed a resolution supporting a call to action to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in the county jail.
“Stepping Up to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in the Jails” is a national initiative, the county says. To date, 17 counties in Oregon and 400 counties nationwide have passed “Stepping Up” resolutions. The initiative is a partnership between the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Association of Counties, and the American Psychiatric Association.
Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice, the liaison to the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC), said, “Because of community and government partnerships programs like this are successful. We take pride in our community and our responsibility to protect and enhance the health, welfare and safety of our residents in efficient and cost-effective ways.”
In Douglas County, the goals under “Stepping Up” include: Tracking how many people with mental illness are passing through the Douglas County jail; implementing mental health screening and assessments; expanding Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for law enforcement officers and others; assisting with efforts to open a crisis respite center for those experiencing a mental health crisis; and improving mental health services and communication between the criminal justice system, mental health providers and the community.