Cook County Sheriff Providing New Resources for Mentally Ill Inmates
The Cook County Department of Corrections through the Sheriff’s newly established Office of Mental Health Policy and Advocacy has established a 24 hour hotline for mentally ill inmates’ family members as well as former inmates coping with mental illness who need to secure services.
As I know, from my long career as a defense attorney, prosecutor, and executive director of the state’s criminal justice policy agency, mentally ill persons can wind up in the criminal justice system, mostly for minor offenses, when their illness is not treated. Unfortunately, the Cook County Department of Corrections winds up serving as the hospital of last resort for too many persons. With its large population of mentally ill inmates, the Cook County Department of Corrections has been called the larges mental health hospital in the nation.
The hotline is staffed by live persons who can assist family members explain inmate needs and current medications. Hotline staffers are also available to speak to former inmates to enable them to have resources to help them cope outside the confines of the jail.
The new hotline number is 773-674-2273. To read more about the program, here is the link to its announcement. https://www.cookcountysheriff.com/press_page/press_JailMentalHealtht_08_06_2013.html
Lori G. Levin
Attorney at Law
180 N. LaSalle, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60601