New Project To Help Inmates - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

New Project To Help Inmates

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- There is a new program and hope for Hamilton County inmates who suffer from mental illness.

Dozens of inmates who are currently inside the Hamilton County Jail suffer from mental illness.

It's a disease that has plagued countless individuals who are now behind bars.

But a new program in Hamilton county led by the public defender's office may change those numbers.

The Bridge Project is designed to stop "the revolving door" for many mentally ill inmates who enter the jail...over and over again. The jail administrator told eyewitness news, they aren't equipped to handle the mentally ill.

Jason Lee Vice will enter the program this week, after spending months behind bars in the Hamilton County Jail. He is accused of threatening Hamilton County Commissioner Curtis Adams. Lee was diagnosed with mental illness which is a requirement for participants...

Public Defender Anna Protano Biggs says former inmates will be under supervision and introduced to community services and support.

This program is modeled after the Jericho project, in Memphis. Which has been very successful for inmates.

Here in Chattanooga a Judge makes the ultimate decision on whether an inmate can enter the program.

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