According to Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox, there often are people in jail who should be in other treatment facilities.
Some damage the jail. Others expose themselves to female employees repeatedly. He said those incidents add criminal charges to what the suspects initially had been arrested on, keeping them in jail longer.
Fifty police officers, probation officers, jail correctional officers and other law enforcement workers recently were trained in helping people who struggle with mental illness and substance abuse. The goal was to educate officers who can be called to specific situations, provide training on issues police deal with regularly and to share with the public how they can get help.
Cox said he thought the training would be useful after seeing inmates come to the jail who needed to be in a hospital or treatment facility. His hope is that instead of bringing them to jail, officers who come into contact with people suffering from mental illness or other conditions will take other steps when possible.