Dart pleads again for mental health help for jail inmates

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Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is making another plea for help in dealing with the mental health crisis facing inmates at the county jail.

Dart, jail doctors and corrections officers rallied outside the county jail Friday.

They released green balloons into the sky in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Dart chided lawmakers and government officials for being penny wise and pound foolish, noting that it costs the county three times more to treat mentally ill patients at the jail than it does on the outside.

He estimates that 35% of detainees on any given day suffer from serious mental health issues.

Dart said it’s depressing to treat inmates, only to have them sent back on the street without any more help.



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