Justice Department puts $483K toward mental healthcare in Washington jail

The Justice Department granted $483,552 to the sheriff's office in Ellensburg, Wash., to improve mental health services at the Kittitas County jail, according to an Oct. 11 news release. 

The county plans to use the funds to:

  • Hire more staff trained to treat mental health disorders
  • Add additional training in mental health treatment for existing staff members
  • Create and expand resources for inmates with mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders

"The nearly $500,000 award will help ensure that inmates in Kittitas County have additional resources to get their lives on track and address what — in certain cases — is the root cause of their criminal behavior," Vanessa Waldref, U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Washington, said in the release. 

The county hopes these resources will decrease the likelihood of inmates with mental health conditions reoffending once they are released from the justice system, according to the release.


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