PLATTSMOUTH—Would some of the inmates at the Cass County Jail, in particular the low-level misdemeanor offenders, be better off under mental health services?
The county’s Board of Commissioners took action on Tuesday to determine just that.
It approved a resolution to join a local program of a national initiative, called Stepping Up, which aims to reduce the number of mentally ill jail inmates and into programs geared more to their issues.
The process would start with initiative staff working with the local sheriff’s department to obtain data on how many inmates could be better served elsewhere, said Vicki Maca, spokeswoman for Region 6 Behavioral Health Care.
“We’re talking about low-level misdemeanor offenses,” she said.
With that information, a staff of professionals would create a plan the county could follow to best serve those individuals, she added.
“There is no cost to the county,” Maca said.
Sheriff William Brueggemann is supportive of this program, she told the board.
“It is a big problem we have,” County Attorney Colin Palm said of the current situation. “It’s been quite a cost to the county.”