County officials look into regional mental health, drug facility - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

County officials look into regional mental health, drug facility

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VANDERBURGH CO., IN (WFIE) -

Vanderburgh, Dubois, Posey, Ohio, and Gibson counties, all on top off the long list of jails dealing with overcrowding.

Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding is on a committee that's studying jail population issues. He said one contributor is mentally ill inmates.

"We have a large number of mentally ill people who are not getting treatment for their illness, and until we get that we're going to maintain this problem,"said Wedding.

Now, local officials are coming together to find a solution.

"I've been 37 years in the Sheriff's office, we've always housed mentally ill people but now it seems to be at a acute stage and most sheriff's across the state are just wanting change," added Wedding.

Vanderburgh County Commissioner, Cheryl Musgrave has been meeting with leaders from several counties to discuss a regional mental health and drug confinement facility.

"I've had a lot of mental illness in my own family and I've had family members who are in jail and that was not the right place for them so I have personal experience with this so I want to work on it," said Musgrave.

Musgrave explained the facility would house inmates who have a mental health problem or drug addiction so they can be treated while being confined.

"The local jails are simply not the appropriate place to put someone who's mentally ill," added Musgrave.

Musgraves said funding for the facility could come from the state or counties could split the costs. She said they've thought a good location for the facility would be somewhere on I-69.

But Musgraves says, Gibson County Commissioners also brought up the third floor of the Gibson General Hospital.

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