tate lawmakers to focus on mental health and incarceration

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — State lawmakers are vowing to take on the link between mental health problems and incarceration in the upcoming legislative session.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Thursday that about half of all inmates locked up in Oregon have mental health issues, and that’s partly because police officers have nowhere else to take them.

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney says a new committee is going to look at the problem and suggest monumental change. The committee will come up with policy recommendations for the 2019 legislative session.

Oregon’s health authority and criminal justice departments have agreed to share data with the committee.

Senate Republican Leader Jackie Winters is also a member of the committee.