- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Hennepin County will start assessing all inmates for mental health and substance abuse problems in an effort to improve care.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports (https://bit.ly/1vSSOnF ) Sheriff Rich Stanek on Thursday announced the new assessment team that will evaluate inmates when they’re booked into the jail. The team including social workers and Hennepin County Medical Center personnel will provide inmates with needed care and help them transition back into the community.

Stanek says at least a third of county inmates have mental health issues and most have been jailed before.

The initiative comes nearly a year after the county paid a $1 million lawsuit settlement after an inmate with schizophrenia partially blinded himself. Stanek says the district has been working on the program for several years and it could help prevent similar incidents.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, https://www.mprnews.org

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