Help For Overcrowded Jails?
Â Miami Judge Steve Leifman will try to reduce the number of mentally ill people in the criminal justice system. Every year, an estimated 70,000 people with serious mental illnesses are booked into jails statewide.
Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell estimates at any given time there are about a dozen inmates that shouldn't be in jail at all. She says rather than be locked down, they need to be living in places where they can get better.
"They need to be in a treatment facility that is trained and experienced and has the type of medications to help their specific illness," says Darnell. "If they are in jail because of an offense and have a mental illness, they are high maintenance."
Darnell says the county jail isn't equipped to give mentally ill inmates the treatment, the medication and the care they deserve. She says the appointment of Leifman is a move long overdue.
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
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