La Crosse County Board okays opioid settlement money, program to help mentally ill prisoners
The La Crosse County Board has approved a settlement of a national opioid lawsuit, which means the county should get a few million dollars as part of the agreement.
On Thursday, the board voted to enter into the class-action settlement involving companies such as Teva Pharmaceutical, Walmart, and Walgreens, paying for drug addiction treatment and other effects of opioid sales.
The county share of the settlement is expected to total $3.5 million, and the payments could be spread out over nearly 20 years.
In other county business, the board endorsed a project to reduce the number of mentally ill prisoners in the La Crosse County jail.
Board members voted to join a campaign called Stepping Up, which would work with government, business, and medical experts to deal with mental illness among jail inmates.
According to a resolution passed by the board, about 2 million people in jails around the U.S. have serious mental illnesses. Local governments have to spend more money on those prisoners than on ones who are not mentally ill, and those people are more likely to use drugs, and to commit crimes again when they’re released from jail.