Champaign County Stepping up to Reduce Mental Illnesses in Jail
By Lauren Kostiuk
Champaign County officials are “stepping up” to help reduce the number of inmates with mental illnesses.
The county adapted the initiative in 2015 and this year, they were named an innovator county for their work.
They were one of the first jails to track and collect the number of people with serious mental illnesses coming in and out of jail daily.
Champaign County Chief Deputy Sheriff Allen Jones use to work in the county jail.
He said he would see the same people coming in and out for non-violent crimes—many of them suffering from mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders.
“It has a huge impact both on that person, on the officers that are dealing with those people, on the families of the individuals, of the criminal justice system, so to find some way to break that cycle,” Jones said.