(POCATELlO, ID) – The state Department of Health and Welfare and local law enforcement officials are looking at possible ways to deal with the rising number mental health problems among jail inmates and prisoners. One of the proposals is to create crisis centers, which would reduce the need for transporting inmates to emergency rooms with police escorts. If a crisis center is in place, officials would be able to quickly administer medications and other treatment. It would also be much cheaper for taxpayers, who wouldn’t have to pay for as many hospital visits. Another plan would combine substance abuse and mental health into one department. The proposals will likely be subject to discussions during the 2014 Legislature.
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com Columnist