Boone County News Release

Press Archives Press Room

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Michele Hall, Boone County Commission Administrative Coordinator
Phone: (573) 886-4312

Panel Held on Mental Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice Involvement

July 14, 2017 – Professionals from a wide spectrum of service providers across Boone County convened on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, to give insight during a League of Women Voters panel discussion entitled "Boone County's Mental Health Crisis and the Need for Solutions." Professionals representing law enforcement, the judicial system, health care, mental health care, veterans affairs, public health, housing, homeless shelters and re-entry services comprised the panel with a common goal of educating the community about the often concurrent problems of mental illness, homelessness and involvement with the criminal justice system. Covered topics include the prevalence of mental illness in jails; the cost of untreated mental illness to the community; the cyclical nature of mental illness and contact with the criminal justice system; services currently available in our community; and initiatives underway to address the problem and break the cycle. Handouts from the discussion are available at

Panelists made every effort to answer attendee questions; however, time did not allow for all questions to be answered. Questions that were left unanswered at the panel were recorded and answers are currently being compiled. When answers are available for all recorded questions, they will be added to the website. A link to the recording of the panel discussion will also be added to the website when available.

In May 2015, Boone County committed to participating in the Stepping Up Initiative, a program developed by the National Association of Counties (NACo) to address the increasing problem of mental illness in county jails. Since then, Boone County and the Judicial & Law Enforcement Task Force have been working to bring together professionals across service industries to address the needs of individuals with mental illness and cut off the recidivism cycle by providing necessary services in a collaborative approach.