The Laramie County Sheriff's Office says it is working on ways to better care for inmates who have chemical dependency and mental health issues.

Public Information Officer Brandon Warner says a large number of people who wind up in the Laramie County Detention Center struggle with substance abuse and mental illness.

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"To help care for these individuals, we have three full-time licensed professional counselors that provide services seven days a week in our facility," said Warner.

"Our counselors do mental health evaluations, short-term, solution-focused therapy, and medication referrals," Warner added. "They also work to connect these individuals with resources to continue care after they are released."

Warner says substance abuse and mental illness are looked at as separate issues, but mental health staff work both.

"They just started a new system to track numbers, but don't have any available yet," he said.

Warner says Sheriff Brian Kozak and administrative staff are also working to develop several new programs to help provide care for these individuals.

"We hope to help these individuals find a path in life where they don’t end up returning to jail," said Warner.

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