Jails have become mental health facilities of last resort. An estimated 64 percent of jail inmates nationwide have mental illnesses, and many revolve in and out of the criminal justice system with their mental health and other needs left unaddressed.
Two Minnesota counties decided to break this cycle by creating jail discharge planning teams. The Stearns County and Steele County teams work with inmates to create tailored discharge plans, connecting them to resources that will help them stay healthy and out of jail. Due to the success of these programs, several other Minnesota counties have begun similar initiatives in their jails.
This film explains how and why the Stearns and Steele County discharge planning teams began. It also outlines in detail what the teams do, what their outcomes are and how their efforts might be replicated in other jurisdictions.
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