Newly elected McLean County Board members have taken their oaths of office and drawn lots from a hat for two or four year terms. They have big jobs to do according to Board Chair Matt Sorenson who says state funding will remain a challenge as will how to deal with an influx of mentally Ill people as state care facilities close. Sorenson says that kind of inmate cannot be put into the general population because they frequently require constant supervision to prevent them from harming themselves.
"Sheriff Emery has reported to me and to the board that there have been many many times over the last year that his entire booking area has been committed to mentally ill inmates who require that constant supervision. Those holding cells are the only thing he's got."
Sorenson says most jails are not configured to serve those inmates. He says a separate facility, renovation to the existing jail and other menu options are all available. Sorenson says the challenge will be finding money for some sort capital expenditure in 2013.
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