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Sedgwick County commissioners want to move forward with a discussion on the creation of a mental health area of the county jail.
Commissioners received a monthly report on Wednesday from county manager Bill Buchanan on the population numbers in the jail and the criminal justice system. Buchanan said the average population in the jail so far this year has been 1,472, which is slightly below last year, but his report showed increasing numbers of cases in mental health programs.
Buchanan said the issue needs to be considered by the county's criminal justice coordinating council. He said the council may have to form a subcommittee to look at the concept of a mental health "pod" for the jail.
Commission Chairman Tim Norton said the increasing number of inmates in mental health programs would indicate that a mental heath pod, along with programs and services, would be needed to help inmates and make sure they aren't repeat offenders.
Commissioners Dave Unruh and Karl Peterjohn also said they had a strong interest in a mental health pod for the jail.