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Concerns over long delays for mentally ill inmates’ treatment


Shelby County’s Chief Public Defender Stephen Bush wrote a letter to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health in Nashville, saying the current wait time for treatment is the longest he’s seen in his 25 year career.

“Once in the system, the amount of work that goes into providing [mental health inmates] with services, keeping them safe, keeping other people safe, and doing what we can to assure that they get some level of treatment is both costly and labor intensive,” said Dr. Altha Stewart, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UT Health Science Center and the Director of the Center for Health in Justice-Involved Youth.

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