Chippewa County Sheriff asks for help on social media for mentally ill inmate

Feb 11, 2020

Person behind jail cell
Credit Unsplash

Chippewa County Sheriff Michael Bitnar posted a long message on Facebook, saying Michigan's mental health system is "broken.” In the message he says he's tried “over and over” to get help for an inmate who is also a Vietnam veteran. According to the social media message, the man was found incompetent to stand trial in December, but a bed at a state psychiatric hospital won’t be available until June. 

“Sitting in a Correctional Facility is not what this man needs. He needs professional Mental Health Care.”

In the message, Bitnar says that his facility does have mental health services 

available for inmates but none that are of the intensity required to help the veteran. 

According to Bitnar, there are at least 4 inmates at the Chippewa County Correctional Facilities

waiting for bed at a mental health facility, and some of them have been waiting even longer than the Veteran. 

Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News.