Inmate Mental-Health Needs More Acute Than Expected

Santa Barbara Independent
Media Coverage
By Nick Welsh

Of the 1,051 inmates locked up in Santa Barbara County Jail on October 20, 544 of them ​— ​or 52 percent ​— ​had been enrolled at some point as mental-health patients with the county’s Department of Behavioral Wellness. Of those, 170 were currently enrolled. “I expected the numbers to be high, but that’s higher than even I expected,” said Behavioral Wellness boss Alice Gleghorn, who noted her department only treats people with serious to acute mental-health problems. “We don’t do mild to moderate.” Likewise, Gleghorn noted that 47 percent of the population had been enrolled at some point in substance-abuse treatment programs...