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Health

How Hamilton County Is Stepping Up To Prevent Jail Time Due To Mental Illness

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Stepping Up Initiative aims to reduce the number of individuals with mental illnesses being sent to jail and instead providing them with proper treatment

According to the National Stepping Up Initiative, in the U.S. approximately 2 million times each year, people who have serious mental illnesses are admitted to jails. These individuals often don't receive appropriate, or any, treatment, and, upon release, are at a higher risk of re-incarceration than those without mental illnesses.

Hamilton County Commissioners late last year voted to be part of the Stepping Up program to reduce the number of individuals incarcerated due to mental health issues.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the initiative are retired Ohio Supreme Court Justice and current attorney with Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP, Evelyn Lundberg Stratton; Hamilton County Board of Commissioners President Denise Driehaus; Vice President of Mental Health and Addiction Services with the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, Linda Gallagher; and Central Clinic Behavioral Health Court Clinic attorney Gary Yuratovac.

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