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Kootenai County, ID - Sheriff Ben Wolfinger just returned from Washington D.C. where he was asked to represent the Sheriffs of America by the National Sheriffs’ Association at a panel discussion at the White House complex for the Summit on Transforming Mental Health Treatment in Combatting Homelessness, Violence and Substance Abuse. The summit was sponsored by the White House’s Domestic Policy Council and was held on Thursday, December 19, 2019, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House Complex.
Earlier this year, Sheriff Wolfinger had been invited by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Institute of Corrections and the National Sheriffs’ Association to participate in a workshop with 19 other Sheriffs from across the United States to develop recommendations for the Department of Justice with regards to working with the mentally ill, particularly those in America’s jails.
At this week’s Summit, Sheriff Wolfinger was able to share the seven primary recommendations that have been delivered to Attorney General Barr and high-light some of the most important items to law enforcement as well as speak to successes both nationally as well as in Northern Idaho. Sheriff Wolfinger was asked to represent the Sheriffs because of his understanding of and advocacy for assisting rural counties with their lack of mental health treatment professionals and the burdens it puts on local Sheriffs and the jails. The full report can be found at the National Sheriffs’ Association website at https://sheriffs.org/asa_mentalhealth .
The Sheriff’s quick 41 hour round trip to Washington D.C. was sponsored by the National Sheriffs’ Association.
Ben Wolfinger, Sheriff
(Left to right in the photo are: Steve Wagner, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council – Moderator; Helen Stone, County Commissioner from Chatham County, Savannah Georgia; State Senator Jane Nelson, Texas Senate District 12; Director Lori Criss, Ohio Department Mental Health and Addiction Services; Sheriff Ben Wolfinger)