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CCDC raise awareness about the growing population of mentally ill inmates

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LVMPD Deputy Chief Richard Forbus and Captain Nita Schmidt met with government officials, behavioral health service providers, and members of the media as part of a commitment to the Stepping Up Day of Action Initiative.

The event was to draw attention to the fact the Clark County Detention Center (CCDC) is the largest mental health facility in the state of Nevada.

Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails was launched in May of 2015 by the National Association of Counties (NACo), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Foundation, and the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center.

In the three years since the launch, more than 415 counties have passed a resolution or proclamation to join the initiative and have committed to creating a sustainable plan to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in their jails.

As part of the initiative, Clark County was selected as one of the large urban areas to reduce the number of people incarcerated with mental illness.

Over 61,000 people were booked into CCDC in 2017.

At any given time approximately 20 percent of the inmate population in CCDC are on medication for mental health issues.

Officials at CCDC have been actively working on creating in-house programs to help address the problems and implementing changes in the discharge planning process to ensure inmates have access to social services that can help them with continued care.

May is designated as National Mental Health Month and May 16 has been selected as the Stepping Up Day of Action.

The goal of this event is to bring awareness to the community of the prevalence of people with mental illness in jails, to elevate public understanding of the issue and emphasize the commitment being made to reduce this population

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