Earlier this week, the Clearfield County Commissioners approved of mental health services for inmates at the Clearfield County Jail. One former inmate I spoke with said this will benefit those at the jail in the long-run.
“I felt alone at times there’s times that the depression was hard and the anxiety was hard. I wrote out to talk to somebody and never got a reply back,” said Dustin Smith, a Clearfield native.
That’s the story of Dustin Smith, who spent four months at the Clearfield County Jail for unpaid fines.
During his time in jail, he said mental health services were limited.
“There was one counselor there but one counselor for 150 people, that not quite good enough,” he said.
Even now Clearfield County District Attorney Ryan Sayers said inmates at the Clearfield County jail are suffering mentally.
“These individuals that were brought to my attention by the warden are deteriorating quickly that if we had to wait 3-6 months to get them into Torrence could be detrimental not only to their mental health but their physical health,” said Sayers.
As of this week, Sayers said Cen-Clear along with other health organizations in the county will be providing services to inmates at the Clearfield County jail.
“The services are likely going to be telehealth and in conjunction with the doctor that is already at the jail two days a week,” he said.
The Clearfield County Commissioners say they approved of a maximum of ten hours of service with Cen-Clear at $250 per hour.
Dustin Smith said this is a long time coming but the system is moving in the right direction.
“I think it’s a good thing that they’re providing it, a lot less people will get out and be repeat offenders,” he said.
Sayers said the prison board will have a meeting next week to discuss long term mental health care services for inmates.