WASHINGTON — Female inmates who suffer from mental illness will get extra help thanks to a grant awarded to a local jail.
The Prince William -Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center has received a nearly $411,000 pilot grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to better help that group.
The grant was approved unanimously by the board of supervisors.
The jail currently has three full-time mental health therapists who are very busy, said Col. Peter Meletis, superintendent of the center. The grant will allow the hiring of one more full-time and one part-time therapist.
Meletis said the part-timer will focus on helping women leaving the facility to more smoothly re-enter the community, find housing and connect with mental health services.
“Jails continue to house large numbers of mentally ill inmates throughout the United States,” Meletis told Prince William County supervisors Tuesday.
Meletis’ jail houses a total of about 990 inmates, he said, and about 145 of them have some form of mental illness.
“Today, 29 percent of our female inmates suffer from some form of mental illness, and the recidivism rate for this group is approximately 40 percent,” he added.