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New Behavioral Health Unit Underway at Jail Dedicated to Support Mentally Ill Inmates

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Sheriff's Advisory Foundation working to secure private funding for new unit with more than half already committed

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – April 25 2018 – Sheriff  Parkinson and the Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation (SAF) announced today that plans are moving forward for a new Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) at the San Luis Obispo County Jail. The BHU will provide behavioral therapy services and housing for inmates suffering from mental illness.

Sheriff Parkinson met with the SAF to discuss the idea of private funding for the BHU. Parkinson has stated numerous times that this is an issue that affects the community as a whole, so it is natural to make this a community-funded facility. The SAF is in support of the project and has identified it as one of their major projects.

The SAF will take an active role in raising private funds for the BHU to support the Sheriff in expediting its opening, allowing the unit to be operational sooner than it would going through the County government procurement process. To date, approximately $272,000 has been raised toward the estimated $500,000 project budget. Target date for the facility to be online is before the end of the year.

“French Hospital Medical Center is pleased to be able to contribute $50,000 towards the BHU as a lead sponsor, says French Hospital Medical Center President & CEO Alan Iftiniuk. “Our mission is dedicated to providing safe, quality care to those we serve, and the Behavioral Health Unit will be equipped to provide this care in a safe and more appropriate environment.”

The SAF is accepting donations towards the facility at by filling out the Donation/Pledge Form on the “Support” page. Tax deductible donations can made through the SAF, which is a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization. 

According to Sheriff Parkinson, “The needs of the mentally ill are not being met in our county jail due to a lack of facilities, staff and funding. The Behavioral Health Unit will enable us to serve all inmates with dignity.” 

Some of the Behavioral Therapy Services that will be available at the BHU:

  • Daily group and individual treatment up to eight hours per day
  • Dormitory style housing
  • Therapeutic environment and treatment programs such as Legal Education, Coping Skills, Substance Abuse and Communication Skills
  • Quicker treatment and faster adjudication of underlying charges

For more information on the BHU, contact the Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation at (805) 709-6591 or [email protected].

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About the Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Advisory Foundation is a non-profit, public benefit corporation formed to provide funding and additional support to the Sheriff's Department. The Sheriff's Advisory Foundation started in 1988 with 22 members and has grown to more than 200 active members.

About French Hospital Medical Center
French Hospital Medical Center, located in San Luis Obispo, California, is rated one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the nation and one of the Top 50 Cardiac Hospitals in the nation by Thomson Reuters.  The Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center provides the latest innovative cardiac and imaging technology on the Central Coast. The hospital’s current modernization and redesign project is an example of the commitment to meet the growing needs of the community with lifesaving advancements in medicine coupled with excellent, compassionate care. The hospital is home to the unique Hearst Cancer Resource Center offering free education, resources and support to cancer patients and their families.  French is a Dignity Health member of the Central Coast which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA and Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, CA. Dignity Health of the Central Coast is an integrated network of top quality hospitals, physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services including primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers and a full service home health agency; all recognized for quality, safety and service.  Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.


Publish date: 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018