New Jail Program Helps Mentally Ill Inmates

EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM) – On Thursday, November 12, the Humboldt county correctional facility and Well Path held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate a new jail-based program to assist offenders that are found to be incompetent to stand on trial.

The program houses up to six inmates who work with psychologists and clinicians.

Program director, Donna Bullard, says “I really get to know these patients and we really get to tailor their treatment. I spent a lot of time with them each day doing group therapy twice a day and a psychiatrist every week. They meet with me one on one every week so we really get to know them.”

The facility functions as a treatment environment inside the jails and these special units are a lot different than your average jail cell.

Correctional deputy, Lauren Elkin, explains, “a typical dorm the inmates are in quads where they sleep in banks very close to each other. Our inmates have their own cells that were completely remodeled we are music and flowers on the walls and just trying to make it seem like a state hospital like a therapeutic environment versus a traditional custodial environment.”

The program has been in the works for around two months and within that time…they have treated almost 6 patients successfully