The issue has been going on for years and is nothing new. But, the growing problem is. The Sangamon County Sheriff says the jail houses a lot of inmates with mental illness and it's much harder to care for them these days.
"The county jail is no place to have a person with mental problems. We're just not equipped medically or physically to take care of these people," said Sheriff Williamson.
But, that's exactly where they're ending up, behind bars, instead of getting treatment. It's a problem many jails are now dealing with.
"25 - 30% of our inmates have some type of special mental problem, and it requires special attention and special needs," he said.
Jails are required by law to offer medical care, but Williamson says some inmates refuse it, opting not to take their medication which can be dangerous for everyone.
"They get into fights; they fight with correctional officers, then they get hurt, then we're dealing with worker's comp issues. It's a mess, not only for the inmates, but the correctional officers and staff," he said.
He says there's a simple solution to the issue; get them the help they need. But, doing that is easier said than done. Mental health services continue to lose money. In fact, 30% of their budget's been cut since 2009.
And it doesn't stop there. While community programs have started to shrink, waiting lists for state facilities are growing.
"We have inmates here who've been here for months, deemed unfit for trial, and we've tried to get them into state facilities, so we can try to get them help so they can come back for trial, but they're on a waiting list for months and months until a bed comes open at a state facility," said Williamson.
Governor Quinn's office say mental health services are very important and, once the pension crisis is resolved, it will help free up more money for those programs.
Mental health advocates aren't just asking for new funding. They also want old funding restored. The state was supposed to give services $12 million this year, but a budget glitch kept that from happening.
Now, it's causing big problems. Some programs have had to downsize and others are still waiting on payments from the state. They want lawmakers to fix the issue when session starts.