New Behavioral Health unit set for jail

SAN LUIS OBISPO —  Sheriff  Parkinson and the Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation (SAF) announced on April 25, 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 and 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


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