The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is now teaching academy cadets how to deal with mentally ill inmates after the alleged beating death of a prisoner at the hands of correctional deputies.
The 30 sheriff cadets filed into judge Stephen Manley's courtroom Wednesday as part of a new 40-hour crisis intervention program just added to the academy curriculum.
Sheriff Laurie Smith said the cadets are learning how the justice system deals with the mentally ill, as well as how to look for signs or signals that a mentally ill inmate needs help.
"We recognize we have a different inmate population now -- it's changing in terms of more mental health," Smith said. "What (cadets) will be able to do is recognize the differences and know better how to handle people that have mental health issues."