- Associated Press - Sunday, January 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A Springfield-area jail will increase mental health services offered to inmates.

The State Journal-Register reports the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office is increasing the number of mental health professionals at the jail starting next month, from 28 hours a week to 40 hours. Authorities say it’ll cost roughly $3,500 more a month for the extra 12 hours of coverage.

Sheriff Wes Barr says officials found it necessary to increase the hours to help with the increase in inmates with mental health problems.

The average daily jail population was 345 last year. The number of inmates with mental health problems has risen up to 15 percent.

Barr says costs will be covered by revenue from an inmate welfare fund, which has money inmates spent on calls and spend at the jail’s commissary.

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