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Those Mentally Ill Incarcerated More

August 2, 2013 Jackson Hole, State of Wyoming, Teton County No Comments
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Teton County has received a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant to coordinate a community collaboration to launch a Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Planning Project here.  The grant project addresses research that the prevalence rate of severe mental illnesses in jail are at least three times higher than rates found in the general population which suggests disproportionate incarceration rates and longer periods of stay are meted out for the mentally ill. The report highlights the need for additional data, increased cross training and pretrial services as necessary first steps to better identify and serve criminal justice system involved individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. Jackson Hole Community Counseling Executive Director and project co-chair Deidre Ashley maintains that the project’s effort to identify where the community and criminal justice system can better respond to defendants with mental health challenges and plan for improvements, quoting now, “will without a doubt improve the quality of life of all people in our community.”

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