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Florida Prison Officials Open New Mental Health Facility In Wakulla For Inmates

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones meets with inmates at the Wakulla Correctional Institution, March 8, 2016.
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The Florida Department of Corrections has opened a new mental health facility in Wakulla County.

The Residential Continuum of Care treatment facility will be housed at the Wakulla Correctional Institution Annex. With four dorms, it’s set to house up to 540 inmates.  According to Prison Chief Julie Jones, this new mental healthcare facility is more than two years in the making.

“One of our biggest liabilities right now in the prison system is mental health and the increase in our severely mentally ill inmates,” she said, speaking to WFSU last year. “But, if we can stabilize our inmate population and get them healthier mentally, they go back to community and communities are safer.”

In addition to emotional support dogs, the RCC mental health facility will also include art and music therapy, life skill training, and basic education.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.