William Wall, a former inmate in the Alachua County Jail and retired English professor, advises inmates with mental health diagnoses, who he said make up about 80 percent of the jail’s population.
Wall ended up in jail due to drug and alcohol problems after being diagnosed with a mental illness. More than 40 years after his first arrest, he’s back to help others like him.
The Alachua County Jail holds a large amount of inmates with mental health issues but does not have adequate tools to help them.
Currently, the jail has a pod designated to monitor inmates with mental issues, but Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell said this isn’t the most effective way to deal with these inmates.
“People don’t get better in a jail,” she said. “They get worse.”