Grant provides mental health services to Mahoning County jail in - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Grant provides mental health services to Mahoning County jail inmates

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

A $150,000 grant is being used at the Mahoning County Jail to provide inmates, who have mental illnesses, wrap around services they need.

Turning Point Counseling, Meridian Health Care, Flying High and Catholic Charities are all working together to provide services and treatment to inmates during and after incarceration.

"Our goal is to decrease recidivism so that they are not back in and out of the jail, to get them stable and having a healthy life," said Wendy Laurenzi with Turning Point Counseling Services.

Wendy Laurenzi evaluates inmates in Mahoning County. She says about 25% of the nearly 500 inmates at the county jail are on psychiatric medications.  She says those numbers have been gradually increasing as more and more people abuse drugs and alcohol.

"A good deal of people that have mental illness issues also do have the drug and alcohol issues.  So, it is definitely increasing," said Laurenzi.

In Mahoning County, some defendants with a mental illness are able to skip out on jail time by completing mental health court.  The county also works to trains law enforcement to spot and handle situations involving people with mental illness.

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