YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio is looking to reduce the number of criminal offenders with untreated mental and substance abuse illness who cycle through county jails. To help fund programming, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services recently awarded $3 million in grants. Mahoning County received $150,000.
Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said the money will be used to help treat inmates, especially those that are being released. The goal is to keep relapses to a minimum.
“The big focus is to reduce the rate of recidivism through this grant and by doing that they would be focused on the people they know will be good candidates to really try and get some help,” Greene said. “No one chooses to be stricken with that type of affliction, and these people need help. They are human beings.”
Greene said 40 percent of inmates suffer from mental health issue and thinks the number will rise.
Victor Daprile, who recently finished the drug court program, said getting help for addiction should coincide with incarceration.
“Trying to get people second chances and trying to improve their life. It is amazing,” Daprile said.