Senate Bill 292 To Help Those with Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Issues

A new program at two local detention centers will help keep reoffenders out and reduce the arrest rate for those with mental health illness and substance abuse.

Senate Bill 292 is a grant-funded program with the goals to reduce recidivism and allow inmates to receive counseling inside the jail and continue counseling once they are out.

Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said, “It’s helpful for any county jail because we have become a holding facility for inmates that have mental illness and a lot of them just need the help — they don’t really need to be in my jail,”.

It has worked with a 91 percent success rate, but it is the first time inmates will have outside support, once they serve their time.

The overall goal is to save taxpayers and county money by inmates not returning to jail.