Brown County Jail facing growing population of mentally ill inmates 13 Mar 18

The duties of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office include not only enforcing laws and arresting offenders, but also providing services for the county jail. Sheriff Rich Hoffman says the jail is facing a growing prevalence of mentally ill inmates. According to Hoffman, last year deputies responded to 118 calls of attempted suicides, drug overdoses or welfare checks on mentally unstable people. The lack of patient beds has led to individuals being placed in the Brown County Jail because there is no other safe alternative. While state lawmakers are working on a bonding bill for more mental health resources, the Minnesota State Sheriff’s Association is pursuing legal action against the Minnesota Department of Human Services. They have documented at least 60 cases since 2015 where the state department has failed to comply with state law that requires a court-ordered inmate to be transferred to a state psychiatric facility within 48 hours.