Hennepin County May Build Mental Health Facility in Plymouth
Sheriff Rich Stanek says Hennepin County needs a designated place for prisoners with mental illnesses. If approved, an abandoned county workhouse building in Plymouth could be refurbished for the facility.
The Hennepin County Board recently voted to approve $200,000 to study converting an abandoned building at the county workhouse into a mental health facility.
For the past couple of years, Stanek pushed for opening a mental health facility for prisoners. He says around 52 percent of the inmates at his jail in Minneapolis have mental disorders. He also says sitting in jail isn’t getting them the help they need.
“They Need to Receive Treatment”
If the plan goes forward, it will cost around $13 million. But Stanek says it’s money that would be well spent.
“Jail is not the place for somebody who suffers from mental illness to spend his or her days,” Stanek says. “If they have a reason for incarceration, that’s fine, but they also need to receive the medical treatment.”
Stanek says if everything goes smoothly the facility could open in two to three years.