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MENTAL HEALTH: Jail staff adapts to rising psychiatric cases

March 8, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — More now than ever, mental health is a focus in society.

When crimes are committed, some people wonder if the person who perpetrated the crime is actually mentally ill. If so, is a jail or prison the best place for them?

Whitley County Sheriff Mark Hodges said he is seeing more inmates with mental health problems than ever before.

“We are finding, at least from our standpoint, what appears to be more and more mental health issues,” he said, referring to the inmate population at the Whitley County Jail.

One solution the jail has is to bring in outside professionals to examine prisoners. And while Hodges and his staff are not professionals in the field, they do what they can to locate problems in inmates.

“We recognize different signs and symptoms,” he said. “It seems to be an ever-increasing problem with the population. The mental health issues are continuing to rise amongst our population here.”

Psychiatric problems affect many across the county and not all receive the proper treatment. Statistics from the National Mental Health Institute indicate 46.4 percent of adults will suffer a mental illness at some point in their lifetime.

To read the rest of this story, see the March 8 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.

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