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Travis County Jail mentally ill female population soaring

Travis County Commissioners get an update on the county jail population today.

The Travis County Jail Population Management Group consists of city, county and state justice stakeholders like the police, sheriffs and attorneys meet regularly and keep track of this. The group says the Sandra Bland Act, the DNA Lab closure and the jump in mentally ill inmate bookings are all impacting jail operations. 

More mentally ill people are finding themselves in Travis County Jail than ever before. While jail bookings have mostly gone down since 2013, they're up slightly from last year. Bookings for Class C offenses are down 34% but first and second degree felony bookings are on the rise, as are drug cases.Mental health felony and misdemeanor bookings continue to escalate; particularly female mental health bookings which are double what they were five years ago.  

The group wants, among other things to come up with a "jail dashboard" to help policymakers and stakeholders better understand how the jail is doing in various aspects of operations as well as how they deal with inmates.

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