How Clay County is tackling the challenge of jailing inmates with mental illness

A new Clay County Jail opened this fall and they've incorporated a mental health wing. This part of the jail is less noisy and is separated from the general population. The goal is to allow people who are struggling with their mental health to receive the treatment they need. On top of that, they've trained everyone on staff in crisis intervention and they've brought in two mental health practitioners from the community to work in the jail full-time. They're also working on community-based support for inmates once they leave the jail.

Host Angela Davis explored the challenge of treating people who are incarcerated in Minnesota and nationally.


Alisa Roth — Mental health reporter at MPR News and author of "Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness"

Rhonda Porter — Clay County's social services director

Michael Walker — Assistant professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota

To listen to the full discussion use the audio player above.