Up to a quarter of the inmates at our regional jail may need mental health treatment, according to a recent study. That’s a sobering, startling number.
Here’s another: For those who cycle in and out of jail most frequently, a third are in need of such assistance. In other words, the men and women who are jailed most often also are most likely to need mental health care. The frequency of arrests indicates the depth of their crises.
Specifically, 5.6 percent of inmates at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail accounted for 21 percent of bookings; and of that number, 33 percent were evaluated as needing mental health help.
“What this data suggests is that there are individuals who are cycling in and out of the jail, with their mental illness being at least a part of their churning pattern,” Neil Goodloe, a member of the team researching these issues, recently reported to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.