Fresno County officials have made a series of decisions about jail mental health services that have backfired, clogging the criminal justice system with inmates incompetent to stand trial and increasing violence in the jail and the community, according to an eight-month investigation by The Bee.
A combination of factors, including slashed budgets and limiting expensive medications, has placed inmates and their families in danger and has increased costs for taxpayers.
The Bee’s extensive investigation has uncovered problems that county officials say are now being addressed, and the county may get out of the jail medical services business altogether by hiring a contractor. But The Bee’s report reveals that much damage has already been done by the county’s practices.
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