District Attorney: Multnomah County jail is “sub-optimal system” for treating mental illness

From The Oregonian, December 23, 2015

Mental health services for inmates at Multnomah County jails are not adequate, a citizen panel said this week.

The Corrections Grand Jury, which reviews the jail operations of the Sheriff’s Office, released its annual report that praised much of the departments work but also repeated concerns about mental health and juvenile education. It convened Oct. 12 and spent seven weeks on the report.

READ – Multnomah County District Attorney’s Report on Jails in Multnomah County – 2015

READ – Multnomah County District Attorney’s Report on Jails in Multnomah County – 2014

Multnomah County jails remain “a sub-optimal system” to treat mental health issues, according to the report, despite the availability of corrections and mental-health counselors, health workers, psychiatric nurse practitioners, registered nurses and forensic fellows, as well as deputies who are trained in communication and de-escalation techniques. For the second consecutive year, 43 percent of all jail inmates have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder but the exact number isn’t given.

Read the rest of District Attorney: Community needs more mental health services than what’s provided in jail