Sheriff says mental health resources for inmates are insufficient in White County | Community

Sunday’s homicide investigation in White County has one person in custody pending charge.

WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – The investigation into Sunday’s White County homicide has taken one person into custody pending charges.

White County Sheriff Bill Brooks said of the last six homicide suspects in White County, drug use was a factor in three cases. Two had mental health play a role.

Whether these were factors in the shooting that resulted from an argument on Sunday is under investigation.

These six murders all took place in the four years since Sheriff Bill Brooks took office in 2019.

Brooks told News 18 that the current prison cannot accommodate space for mental health or addiction counseling. He says he is frustrated that attempts to purchase or renovate a community corrections building with county commissioners have not progressed.

“The government is moving slowly, but the public is not, and the system is accelerating faster than the public can keep up,” Brooks said. “We’re never going to be able to afford a mental institution, we’re not big enough for that. And that’s sad.”

Brooks said he saw several buildings and presented cost plans ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. But none moved forward.

“There is zero transparency. Zero,” he said. “Right now we have a building without a council, never designed for this. We have a building [without] Mental Health [treatment]. We don’t have it. It’s not here. It’s frustrating. Three and a half years of arguing about it, and this prison, now there is nothing.”

He said the prison is currently using closets as makeshift rooms for virtual counseling sessions.

White County Commissioners did not respond to News 18’s request for comment at the time of this story’s publication.

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