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Virginia jail opens unit for those with mental health issues

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ROANOKE, VA (AP) -

 A Virginia jail has opened a new unit that aims to provide more attention and resources to men with mental health issues.

The Roanoke Times reports four inmates at the Roanoke City Jail will move into the unit on Tuesday. The jail repurposed two general population inmate areas into the unit as part of its ongoing efforts to better identify and help those with mental health issues.

Sheriff Tim Allen says the jail can never be a complete treatment center, but the unit will allow the jail to provide better treatment than before. The areas are targeted toward specific issues, such as one area that will hold inmates under suicide watch.

The sheriff says the mental health unit currently only serves men, but he hopes to create another for women.

Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com

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