County Leaders Urge Funding For Mental Health Services

Nov 17, 2016

Three Arkansas associations of county leaders have endorsed resolutions asking the state to make it a priority to fund services for the mentally ill.

The County Judges Association of Arkansas, Arkansas Sherriffs’ Association and the Quorum Court Association of Arkansas announced Wednesday they were supporting three proposals:

-The adequate funding of behavioral health and crisis services in jails

-The establishment of regional crisis stabilization units for the mentally ill

-The implementation of crisis intervention training for the state’s law enforcement officers.

The county leaders note that in Governor Asa Hutchinson’s proposed $5.4 billion budget, there is $5 million devoted to fund three crisis stabilization units, which are 16-bed treatment centers used to divert mentally ill persons from incarceration. The state currently spends about $500 million annually on corrections, including jails and prisons.