Connecticut Senator Asks Sentencing Commission to Study Mental Illness in Prisons
Date:  10-02-2019

Study would include identifying the number of mentally ill people in prison, determining their needs, and providing necessary services
From The CT Mirror:

Over the 21 years Sen. Cathy Osten worked for the Department of Correction, mental illness was so pervasive among Connecticut’s inmates that it was not unusual for her to hear from families who were grateful their loved ones were incarcerated because they were better off behind bars than on the street.

Such conversations helped the Sprague Democrat identify a too-common issue in Connecticut and across the country — that many incarcerated people wind up behind bars because they’re not getting the psychiatric care they need in their communities.

“When people don’t have access to the supports they need, they end up interacting with different systems, whether it’s emergency rooms, inpatient psychiatric or corrections,” said Kathy Flaherty, co-chair of the Keep the Promise Coalition, a group that advocates for Connecticut residents impacted by mental health conditions. “We are very much concerned when people with mental health conditions are not accessing the supports they need in the community and then end up interacting with the criminal legal system as a result of behavior that may be attributable to their condition, yet society has chosen to deem criminal acts.”

Osten shares those concerns. Continue Reading >>>