Texas sheriffs seek mental health funding for jail inmates
Sheriff's departments across the state agree that mental illness is a top concern facing county jails. It's a sad truth that Texas sheriffs want to change. Twenty-four percent of Texas inmates have a serious mental illness. "Booking those people in jail is not the answer," Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said. The Sheriffs Association of Texas wants more funding to help treat those people. Right now, Texas ranks last in the nation in per capita mental health funding at $39 a head, well under the national average of $125. Many times the burden of housing and treating those people falls to the prison system.
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