Sep 26, 2016

"Our jail in Humboldt County is by far the largest mental health facility we have but it wasn't designed to deal with many of the issues surrounding individuals with mental illness"




Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass is one of ten people from California getting a special tour of jail facilities in San Antonio, Texas and Miami, Florida and seeing how they deal with mental health for people that are incarcerated.

Instead of attending a RCRC conference in Tahoe, Supervisor Bass thought this was a very important opportunity and chose to spend this week in Texas and Florida.

Supervisor Bass flew out early this morning from Humboldt County. She just left on a flight out of San Francisco and  shared some thoughts about her trip.

"I was offered an incredible opportunity to travel with a high level delegation of 10 individuals sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections and the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) to visit jails that are considered model facilities for how they deal with the challenges of incarceration of folks who suffer from mental illness."

"Our jail in Humboldt County is by far the largest mental health facility we have but it wasn't designed to deal with many of the issues surrounding individuals with mental illness. I hear the same story from many other counties. This is a problem we don't deal with very well."

"The good news is, there are counties across the Country who are doing new and innovative things in this area."

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown and I are the only 2 "local electeds" joining this group that includes Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Linda Penner, chair of the BSCC, Stephanie Welch, Executive officer of The Council on Mentally Ill Offenders (COMIO) with the CDCR, MHSOAC commissioners Richard Van Horn and Dr. Victor Carrion and Toby Ewing the Executive Director of the MHSOAC.


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