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Panel discussion to focus on mental health, Whatcom County Jail

An intoxicated inmate naps on the floor of a temporary holding cell shortly after being booked at Whatcom County Jail in Bellingham in July 2015. A League of Women Voters panel on Saturday, March 19, will discuss mental health and substance abuse treatment and the challenges of providing those in the jail.
An intoxicated inmate naps on the floor of a temporary holding cell shortly after being booked at Whatcom County Jail in Bellingham in July 2015. A League of Women Voters panel on Saturday, March 19, will discuss mental health and substance abuse treatment and the challenges of providing those in the jail. eabell@bhamherald.com

Three experts will speak about mental illness and substance abuse treatment and the challenges of providing those services in Whatcom County Jail during a League of Women Voters program Saturday.

From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 19, the panel will speak at the program, “Mental health and the Whatcom County Jail: Where are we going?” in the downstairs lecture room at Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave.

Speakers include Anne Deacon, human services manager at the Whatcom County Health Department; Wendy Jones, jail chief; and Charles Snyder, Whatcom County Superior Court judge.

“Program participants will learn more about the current services available, critical unmet needs from the perspective of professionals in the field, and programs being developed to forestall inappropriate or unnecessary incarceration and recidivism in Whatcom County,” the League announced in a news release.

A question and answer period will follow the panel discussion.

Samantha Wohlfeil

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