Sheriff: Mentally ill, addicted need treatment, not jail terms

Sheriff: Mentally ill, addicted need treatment, not jail terms

November 29th, 2017 by Judy Walton in Breaking News

Sheriff Jim Hammond

Photo by Angela Lewis Foster /Times Free Press.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond this morning asked county commissioners to put up seed money for an ambitious plan to get mentally ill people out of the jail and into an environment where they can receive treatment and services.

Hammond has commitments of $25,000 apiece from Bluecross Blueshield of Tennessee and CHI Memorial to begin work on a program similar to ones used in 30 U.S. cities. 

He said it's wrong, and costly, to treat mental illness, addiction and homelessness as crimes. Getting proper services for those people will help them, free up space at the jail and save the county perhaps millions of dollars.


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