Owens says Cobb detainees the first to receive 24-hour mental health service

Cobb Sheriff's Office vehicle at Cobb government office in article about evictionsCobb Sheriff's Department vehicle at Cobb government office (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office issued the following press release stating that the Cobb County Adult Detention Center will have a full-time psychiatrist on staff:

MARIETTA, GA — Under the leadership of Sheriff Craig Owens, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office will become the first sheriff’s office in the state to provide its detainees around-the-clock access to behavioral and mental health services. 

Beginning Nov. 15, the Adult Detention Center will have a full-time psychiatrist on staff and be able to quickly assess, diagnose, and treat patients with mental health issues. The staff will also include psych registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.

“Many of the men and women in our custody would likely never have entered the criminal justice system if someone ensured they had access to quality mental health services at various stages of their lives,” said Sheriff Craig Owens. “From intake to discharge, we are committed to getting our detainees the help they need so they never have to walk back through our doors again.”

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The new mental health program will utilize the American Psychiatric Association’s assessment and treatment plan formulation, leading to patient-specific support. The Sheriff’s Office and the healthcare team will place emphasis on suicide prevention and substance abuse support. 

“Wellpath supports the Sheriff’s vision to treat our patients with the dignity and compassion they deserve by enhancing the mental health services being provided, said Zela Guirola, Group Vice President of Partnership Development. “We are committed to providing 24/7 mental health coverage, enhanced staffing, intensive programming, and discharge planning focused on finding resources to support inmates upon discharge back into the community. These soft handoffs to community resources will support the continuation of care resulting in better served communities.”

The Sheriff’s Office will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony when the program launches to celebrate the launch of this momentous shift in prioritizing detainee care. 

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