Shawnee County leaders working to reduce mental illnesses in jail

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Shawnee County is working to reduce the number of people with mental illness in jail.

The county is joining the national “Stepping Up Initiative.”

The Director of the Shawnee County Department of Corrections Brian Cole said they will focus on finding ways to help people with mental illnesses before they end up in jail.

“They become victims in jail and they’re very much more expensive to house and a challenge when you’re dealing with medication. Shawnee County spends about 25,000 a month on medication,” Cole said.

Cole said right now about 25% of Shawnee County inmates have a mental illness. The national average is 16%.

To learn more about the initiative, click here.

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