Shelby County Commissioners delay vote on inpatient mental health facility for offenders

Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 10:52 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Commissioners pushed a decision on a multi-million-dollar investment into an inpatient mental health care facility for offenders Monday.

We first told you about plans to build the Shelby County Mental Health, Safety and Justice Center last week.

County officials say the construction for this facility could cost up to $25 million.

Commissioners still have questions on when, how, and where the Shelby County Mental Health, Safety and Justice Center will come together.

According to the proposal, if an offender shows signs of mental illness within 48 hours in custody and is not released on bond or their own recognizance, they will be referred to the center after review by the sheriff’s office, the DA, and the public defender’s office.

The resolution calls for $2.5 million to be allocated for design and construction.

According to Mayor Lee Harris’ office, the $2.5 million in funds will come from the American Rescue Plan. If approved, the center could be built either by Jail East in East Memphis or Downtown Memphis.

Those who do not need to go to Memphis Mental Health Institute could be referred to this center.

A majority of commissioners expressed their support for this idea but have further questions about funding and want more information on needs throughout the county’s criminal justice system.

Commissioners have pushed further discussion on this item to their December 13 committee meeting.

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