WALKER - The Cass County Board voted Tuesday to implement a smoke-free policy on all county-owned land around buildings where workers are located, effective Oct. 1, when the state Freedom to Breathe Act takes effect.
Cass County buildings have long been smoke-free. This extends the county's policy to all grounds surrounding those buildings.
The state act eliminates smoking from all work places and public transportation, including bars, restaurants, private clubs. Local governments may enact stricter laws than the state's act. Cass commissioners used that option Tuesday.
In other health-related discussion, Jamie Richter, adult health supervisor, informed the board a program has been started to help inmates when they leave jail. This is an effort to cut recidivism, she said.
The Release Advance Planning program will encourage those inmates diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness or significant behavior concerns or who are homeless and/or a Cass County resident to plan for where they will live and work upon release from jail.
A team of county jail, social work and probation representatives will help people find resources to more easily reintegrate into their community. Recidivism will be measured over the next five years to determine the program's effectiveness, Richter said.
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