Sebastian County inmates deal with mental health issues

The system has reduced costs, increased security for sending and receiving documents, lessened errors and shortened the time gap for records being entered.

By Max Bryan
Times Record

Sebastian County Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck said addressing the mental health issues of people within the county is a crucial step in lowering incarceration.

Hollenbeck, who has lobbied for increased mental health treatment in Sebastian County and the state of Arkansas in the past, outlined steps presently taken in the county and ones that need to be taken to ensure people do not end up in jail because of a mental health episode. He said incarcerating someone who is not in full control of his or her mental faculties can have “a disastrous outcome” both during the arrest and incarceration.

The link between mental health and incarceration has been documented on a national level. A 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics study noted that 75 percent of female inmates and 63 percent of male inmates in local jails had what the study called “mental health problems.”

The same study noted that more than one in six jail inmates with at least one mental health problem in the United States had received treatment since being admitted to a facility. Read more.

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