WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Mental Health Problems Hinder Jail Operation

Macomb, IL 61455 – Inmates with mental health problems are causing staffing and space difficulties at the McDonough County Jail. Chief Deputy Rick Manser says a major problem is when people charged with relatively minor crimes refuse to take their psychotropic drugs. He says they can be a danger to jailers, and sometimes to other inmates. However, he says there are not always enough individual cells to keep them apart from other prisoners. Manser says the problem is aggravated by the statewide closing of many mental institutiions. He says the ones that remain will not accept prisoners with charges pending unless it's by court order. Manser says that can be very slow to arrange.