Jail Program Keeping Amarillo Safe - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Jail Program Keeping Amarillo Safe

"If they're not on their medication then they are more apt to commit crimes out in the public like trespassing, assault, using drugs," says M.H.M.R. Program Director Billy Heinsohn "If they're not on their medication then they are more apt to commit crimes out in the public like trespassing, assault, using drugs," says M.H.M.R. Program Director Billy Heinsohn
"It's a great benefit to us, the M.H.M.R. provides medication, counseling and additional resources outside of the correctional facility,"  says Captain Roger Haney "It's a great benefit to us, the M.H.M.R. provides medication, counseling and additional resources outside of the correctional facility," says Captain Roger Haney

Mentally ill inmates in local jails are receiving treatment that is helping to prevent crime in Amarillo.

The Mental Health Mental Retardation program helps mentally ill inmates from re-offending and going back to jail. M.H.M.R. Program Director Billy Heinsohn said  "the clients that we have in the program right now, there's a only a small portion that do end up back in jail. Ninety percent of our case load right now have remained out of jail not committing new crimes."

Which means the streets of amarillo are safer. The M.H.M.R. program was started in 1999.  A state grant of about $130,000 thousand dollars funds the program to help mentally ill inmates by providing medication and counseling services.

"If they're not on their medication then they are more apt to commit crimes out in the public like trespassing, assault, using drugs."

Once they are released additional resources are provided to help keep them on the right track. "We continue to work with them, give them skills training, rehab, try to help them find housing and employment if we can," Heinsohn said.

Captain Roger Haney at the Potter County jail says it helps them with the limited space they have for special needs inmates. "It's a great benefit to us, the M.H.M.R. provides medication, counseling and additional resources outside of the correctional facility. If that helps one not to come back into a correctional facility that's a benefit to us."

According to the state of Texas they see about a 50% decrease of inmates returning to jail when participating in the program.

 

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