Getting the Mentally Ill Out of Jails
Date:  04-19-2017

400,000 people with mental illness are incarcerated in U.S. Jails
From Pew Charitable Trusts:

A dearth of beds at state psychiatric hospitals in many parts of the country and shortages of mental health resources mean that mentally ill people who commit minor crimes often end up languishing in jails, which are poorly equipped to handle their illnesses.

It’s a difficult problem that, without intervention, creates a grim cyclical pattern: Untreated mentally ill people get carted off to jail, where their illnesses go unaddressed, which increases the odds that they will commit crimes after their release.

But cities, counties and states across the U.S. are attempting to break that pattern, using law enforcement and criminal justice tools to direct those with mental illness toward treatment services that could help them control behaviors that got them into trouble. Continue reading >>