The Jail Mental Health Work Group works to identify ways to improve services and supports to individuals in custody who have mental health and substance use concerns.
This Work Group meets quarterly and consists of key stakeholders from across Orange County, including the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, CJRD, the District Court Judge’s Office, Orange County Probation and Parole, the District Attorney and Public Defender Offices, Cardinal Innovations, Freedom House Recovery Center, UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health, UNC Hospital, UNC School of Social Work, and Correctional Behavioral Health. The group is facilitated by Pam Weiden, District Court Programs and Special Projects Manager.
One example of an accomplishment of this group was the creation of a County-funded psychiatry position for the Orange County Detention Center in October 2016. This was a critical step forward in improving mental health care for those in jail struggling with mental illness. The group continues to strive to increase behavioral health supports to individuals while they are in custody and as they transition back into the community.