Hamilton County Jail: Overcrowding Problems with Psych Patients

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Officials with the Hamilton County Corrections Facility say sending patients with mental disabilities to jail isn’t helping anyone.

In fact, Joe Fowler, Chief of Corrections, said nearly 40 percent of all inmates currently sitting in the Hamilton County Jail are on some type of psychotropic medication.

Fowler said most inmates with mental disabilities, are taken to either Moccasin Bend, a facility in Nashville or, in some cases, a facility in Bolivar, which causes a strain on the jail staff.

“It makes it more difficult to do what we have to do in the facility,” said Fowler, “and it’s already a safety risk for that person to already have worked some hours, and then have to drive all the way across state, and then back, to complete their hours.”

Fowler also said because of a new contract signed with Erlanger Health, pretty soon a licensed practical councilor will provide mental health care full-time. That should bring a little help to those employees with the corrections facility.

Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Local News

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