Jones Co. examines their policy on jailing the mentally ill

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Jones County supervisors have set up a committee to determine how to handle those who are arrested with mental illness.

Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge said the Mississippi State Department of Mental Health has issued several mandates requiring jails throughout the state to become certified to be able to hold the mentally ill.

Hodge said when most mentally ill people are arrested they remain in a holding cell alone, so they can not harm themselves or anyone else.

He said if jails do not become certified they will have to contract with a facility that is certified to handle the mentally ill when they are arrested.

Hodge said although his department assists in helping these individuals he said he does not believe jail is where mentally ill patients belong.

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