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Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia is the Executive Director of the Cook County Department of Corrections. Prior to assuming that role in May 2015, Dr. Jones Tapia was the First Assistant Executive Director of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office where she oversaw mental health strategy at the Cook County Jail. On any given day, Cook County Jail is home to 2000-2500 inmates with mental illness. In an effort to slow the revolving door of mentally ill individuals re-entering the jail, Dr. Jones Tapia developed the Mental Health Transition Center to build a support system for the successful reentry into the community. In addition to the Mental Health Transition Center, Dr. Jones Tapia spearheaded several programs geared toward increased health in the inmate population and the community.
Prior to joining the Sheriff’s Office, Dr. Jones Tapia served as the Chief Psychologist at Cermak Health Services, the onsite medical and mental health provider at Cook County Department of Corrections, where she developed and chaired numerous mental health programs and committees and advised the Cook County DOC on mental health-related issues.
Dr. Jones has maintained a decorated academic career, earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her master’s in clinical psychology from East Carolina University and her doctorate of psychology from the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology.