Crowding complicates mental health in jail

Santa Rosa County Jail is crowded.

Among the hundreds of inmates either awaiting court dates or serving sentences of less than 365 days is a population in need: those with mental illnesses.

Jail Administrator Maj. Randy Tifft said this poses a significant problem.

“This is an issue that is facing jails and prisons across the country,” he said. “We get them (mentally ill people) in routinely. Some are in a treatment program prior to being incarcerated, but some are not.  We are faced to diagnose those as they come in.”

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