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Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart today announced the establishment of the Office of Mental Health Policy and Advocacy within the Cook County Sheriff's Office as well as the launch of a 24 hour mental health hotline. Sheriff Dart says the new office will expand the portfolio of mental health initiatives, including a mental health screening process at daily intake. The 24 hour hotline will be supported by live team-members to be used exclusively for ex-detainees of the Cook County Jail and for families of current detainees. Sheriff Dart says this new office, and it resources, represent important steps toward shutting the revolving door between the streets and jail for Cook County's mentally ill. The Cook County Jail is the largest single-site jail in the nation and typically holds between two-thousand to 25-hundred mentally ill detainees at any one time, giving it the dubious distinction of being the largest mental health institution in the country.
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