Mental health in the Midland County jail system


For Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter, he’s seen a lot of inmates go in, then out, and back into the jail. One of the main reasons behind that is mental health.

“The county jail is the largest mental health holding place in the county,” said Painter.

Late last year, Painter and his staff were trying to improve mental health with inmates in their jail. Since then, they’ve brought in two mental health workers to get inmates on the right track.

“They find out about all the mental problems that they’ve got, whats going on in their life, whats going on in their family. Why did their family get rid of them, why did their family not do anything,” said the Sheriff. “All of these kinds of things that can affect an individual. Then they get them back on medication.”

Now for the future, Sheriff Painter hopes that officials in Austin look at inmate mental health as a serious issue. And he hopes they put more funds into its improvement.

“They have to do something to help people. And they can’t help people if the legislature is sitting on their rear ends not doing anything,” he said.

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