Stepping Up Initiative expanding into Limestone County

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Experts say at least 20% of inmates in Alabama jails suffer with a mental illness. That’s why the Limestone County Commission passed a resolution by the Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama on Monday.

This resolution is part of the Stepping Up Initiative which will help keep people with mental illnesses from being reincarcerated. The Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama is partnering with local hospitals and jails to get inmates with mental illnesses the help they need.

Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama Development Officer, William Giguere, said, “People with mental illnesses tend to have less resources. They tend to get incarcerated for more things like trespassing, petty crimes, and many of their crimes, they would be much better served in a treatment facility than incarcerated.”

The Stepping Up initiative allows for jails and mental health experts to identify inmates with mental illnesses so they can get help as soon as they’re released.

Giguere says they will help the inmates with “whatever those needs may be. We know mental health will be one of the needs, but there’s also housing, transportation, medical, you name it. Things you just need to live to be successful in life.”

The Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama began providing these services in Morgan County in January. They recently got a grant from the Department of Mental Health to pay for a case manager for Limestone County jail inmates.

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