Mentally Ill and Prison
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Letters: Treat the mentally ill, don't jail them - Los Angeles Times

Letters: Treat the mentally ill, don't jail them - Los Angeles Times | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Letters: Treat the mentally ill, don't jail them
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County can easily reduce its jail population by implementing Laura's Law and discharging eligible mentally ill inmates to assisted outpatient treatment.
SeversonTrends's insight:

"L.A. County's pilot program has reduced incarceration by 78% among participants. It's time to move from pilot to full-scale implementation and determine which jail inmates should be enrolled."

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Spokane County looks to extend mental health court tax - The Spokesman Review

Spokane County looks to extend mental health court tax - The Spokesman Review | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Spokane County looks to extend mental health court tax
The Spokesman Review
She had just appeared in mental health court to update District Court Judge Randy Brandt on her progress in controlling her depression and alcoholism.
SeversonTrends's insight:

"The program provides treatment, greater accountability and housing for hundreds of people who might otherwise drift from crisis to crisis and arrest to arrest. It’s widely considered a success and is credited with dramatically reducing jail costs. " Other counties should look at Mental Health courts as a way to save money in the long term.

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Criminalizing Mental Illness: Jails, Hospitals, or On the Street?

Criminalizing Mental Illness: Jails, Hospitals, or On the Street? | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it

What is wrong with this picture?  According to figures obtained from the Department of Justice, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) reports that back in 1999, sixteen percent of the prisoners in State and Federal jails and prisons had a diagnosable major mental illness. [...] It has gotten worse since then. At the end of 2011, 2,266,800 adults and approximately 71,000 juveniles were incarcerated in Federal and State prisons, and jails.  That is 2,337,800 incarcerated inmates. If the sixteen percent figure holds, and there is no reason to believe it hasn’t, there are now about 374,000 mentally ill inmates in correctional facilities. “Correctional facility” is an oxymoron when it comes to providing treatment. 

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Mental health nurses to join police on the beat - Press releases - Inside Government - GOV.UK

Mental health nurses to join police on the beat - Press releases - Inside Government - GOV.UK | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
RT @PsychCorpUK: Mental health nurses to join police on the beat via @dhgovuk http://t.co/H4A6NIo9nk #mentalhealth
SeversonTrends's insight:

Interesting pilot program in the UK to help the mentally ill get access to the help they may need.

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June 21, 2013 ~ Prisons and the Mentally Ill - Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly

June 21, 2013 ~ Prisons and the Mentally Ill - Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
SeversonTrends's insight:

"It doesn’t make moral, ethical, or fiscal sense, according to Cook County sheriff Tom Dart, to house people who are mentally ill in jails and prisons."

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SeversonTrends's comment, June 24, 2013 12:07 PM
Interesting comment in the video from Tom Dart, on average it costs $143 a day to keep a person in prison he estimates the costs triple for a person with mental illness in jail.
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Chronic Crisis | A System That Doesn’t Heal - Houston's solution to mental health system problems offers a case study for Milwaukee

Chronic Crisis | A System That Doesn’t Heal - Houston's solution to mental health system problems offers a case study for Milwaukee | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Since developing their mental health unit — now a full division — Houston police have dramatically reduced the number of people with mental illness who are detained against their will.
SeversonTrends's insight:

"Houston is the first police department in the nation to devote an entire division to mental health. The department has five programs aimed at helping people in psychiatric crisis avoid arrest — including a homeless outreach team, a team dedicated to identifying chronic consumers and a team of 10 officers who are paired with mental health counselors to go out on calls for help."

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Prison Or Treatment For the Mentally ill

Prison Or Treatment For the Mentally ill | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
We should be supporting mental health, not punishing patients.
SeversonTrends's insight:

She writes: "Today, our largest mental hospitals are our jails. The jail at New York’s Rikers’ Island functions as the nation’s largest psychiatric  facility. Los Angeles’ jails – not its hospitals – are California’s largest providers of mental health care. State prisons alone spend nearly $5 billion annually to incarcerate mentally ill inmates who are not violennt"

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Central Prison changes way of dealing with mentally ill | Local/State | NewsObserver.com

Central Prison changes way of dealing with mentally ill | Local/State | NewsObserver.com | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Over the past 25 years, crisis intervention team training has spread among law enforcement agencies across the country. Now it is being tested in the nation's prisons, which have become the largest repositories for people with mental health problems.
SeversonTrends's insight:

Thankfully some prison systems are starting to realize that they need special training to deal with the large number of mentally ill people they deal with on a daily basis.

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Training Police To Handle Mental Illness Cases : NPR

Training Police To Handle Mental Illness Cases : NPR | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Many of the calls police officers are sent on involve people with mental illness. Often they end in tragedy, with the death of the suspect or the officer.
SeversonTrends's insight:

"But when the Memphis police chief told him to deal with the public reaction to the shooting, Cochran started talking to mental health experts and families. And he realized that most situations could be defused if police officers were trained to approach mentally ill people differently from common criminals — slowly, calmly and recognizing that the person may not be seeing the situation clearly. According to the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, an advocacy group for people with mental illness, there are now about 200 or 300 police departments around the country with active training programs. The center's position is that what's really needed are community services where people with mental illness can get treatment and support, so that crises can be avoided in the first place."

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2,814 Deaths of the Mentally Ill in Police Custody, Zero Prosecutions: Where is the Justice?

2,814 Deaths of the Mentally Ill in Police Custody, Zero Prosecutions: Where is the Justice? | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
After 5 long years, the family of Sean Rigg, who died in police custody have the possibility of seeing some justice.  The 40 year old, suffering serious mental health issues, died in police custody...
SeversonTrends's insight:

Another example of how police are not trained to deal with the mentally ill, but have to. This man would have been better served by being given access to mental health care.

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CDC finds 20 percent of nation’s kids may be mentally ill

CDC finds 20 percent of nation’s kids may be mentally ill | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Up to 20 percent of America’s youth are mentally ill, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds in a new report that looked at the health of adolescents.
SeversonTrends's insight:

More needs to be done to help people with mental illness early in their lives, so they do not face prison time latter.

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Mentally ill death row inmates in Calif. get little treatment, attorneys say - Kitsap Sun

Mentally ill death row inmates in Calif. get little treatment, attorneys say - Kitsap Sun | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Mentally ill death row inmates in Calif.
SeversonTrends's insight:

"The attorneys for the inmates say the level of mental health care for condemned prisoners is so substandard that Karlton should order a mental health assessment of death row prisoners and creation of a psychiatric center there to handle all levels of treatment."

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Shawnigan Lake School Law 12's curator insight, April 22, 2014 8:48 PM
Shawnigan Lake School Law 12's insight:

Michael Labuschagne Chapter 10 defence of the accused: Since they are on death row it appears almost pointless to actually give a lot of treatment. This is how they see them. Mentally ill people, you use to not be able to sentence them to death, but i guess this has gotten changed in Calif. It sort of makes sense that, yes they are going to but, they should still deserve better treatment that exceeds a normal inmate that has just done wrong.

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Oklahoma City police have special training for dealing with mental health issues

Oklahoma City police have special training for dealing with mental health issues | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Patience is a key component when dealing with people who suffer from severe mental illnesses, said Oklahoma City police Capt. Jeff Pierce.
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Indiana prison agency plans to centralize mentally ill, add staff, programs - Indianapolis Star (blog)

Indiana prison agency plans to centralize mentally ill, add staff, programs - Indianapolis Star (blog) | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Indiana prison agency plans to centralize mentally ill, add staff, programs
Indianapolis Star (blog)
In a Dec. 31, 2012, ruling, U.S.
SeversonTrends's insight:

It is always great to see improvements being made, but sad that they have come at the price of others’ lives and because of litigation. It would still be better if the people with mental health problems could be treated before they get into the prison pipeline.

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Benton County jail sees more mental health cases - Mid Columbia Tri City Herald

Benton County jail sees more mental health cases - Mid Columbia Tri City Herald | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Benton County jail sees more mental health cases Mid Columbia Tri City Herald The Benton County jail is experiencing a "mission creep" from a criminal justice institution to one that's increasingly confronted with mental health and medical cases,...
SeversonTrends's insight:

There needs to be more community mental health and medical services made avaialbe to people. It is sad that many people have to go to jail to get access to these types of services.  

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Research: Mental health care not only reduces arrest rates, but also saves money

Research from North Carolina State University, the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and the University of South Florida shows that outpatient treatment of mental illness significantly reduces arrest rates for people with mental health problems and...

Via Roy D Palmer
SeversonTrends's insight:

Here is proof that outpatient mental health treatment can help save communities money in the long run.

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Will Gourley's curator insight, June 14, 2013 7:01 PM

How do we convince law and decision makers? Show them that they can save money. Look like they've cleaned up crime. Reduced prison populations and actually helped people receive access to life changing help.

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Lawsuit Puts Prison Mental Health in Focus

Lawsuit Puts Prison Mental Health in Focus | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Victor Voe warned them: "Don't let them kill me. I be hearing them say they going to kill me. I am hearing voices that others don't hear."
SeversonTrends's insight:

"As troubling as the circumstances of Voe's death are, his is just one of dozens of stories of mental-health needs allegedly being ignored at [East Mississippi Correction Facility] EMCF, which houses the most seriously mentally ill prisoners in Mississippi."

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Photographer documents plight of mentally ill prisoners she says are ‘Trapped’ in the system

Photographer documents plight of mentally ill prisoners she says are ‘Trapped’ in the system | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
The first time photographer Jenn Ackerman saw a correction officer restrain a mentally ill inmate at the Kentucky State Reformatory, she was shocked.

“It upset me so much,” Ackerman, 32, told the New York Daily News.
SeversonTrends's insight:

Compelling images of the mentally ill trapped in the prison system.

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Questionable Methods Used in Preparing Mentally Ill for Trial

Questionable Methods Used in Preparing Mentally Ill for Trial | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
In times of strained budgets, states are trying creative ways to prepare people with mental illness to stand trial.
SeversonTrends's insight:

“The so-called mock trials, to try to teach a mentally ill person who the judge is, prosecutor is, defense attorney is, in order to be declared competent to stand trial and face life in prison, or death, seems to me to be in conflict with the basic Hippocratic oath of the medical professionals,” he says. “It seems to me that’s an outrageous thing and clearly wrong.”

Forcing antipsychotic drugs on patients for the sole reason of preparing them for trial, if they wouldn’t otherwise be prescribed, is similarly questionable, the attorney says.

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Making Mentally Ill Defendants Ready For Trial : NPR

Making Mentally Ill Defendants Ready For Trial : NPR | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Making mentally ill defendants ready for trial
SeversonTrends's insight:

"In mental hospitals across the country, psychiatrists prepare criminal defendants for trial using innovative therapies such as this make-believe hearing, where patients and clinicians played the key courtroom roles. The process, they believe, reduces recidivism and protects public safety." [...] "But lawmakers in a number of states are scrambling to cut the cost of preparing mentally ill criminal defendants for trial. Dozens have authorized outpatient programs. Several, including Texas, are considering plans to provide treatment in jail." [...] "Faced with long hospital waiting lists for such treatment, more than 30 states have authorized outpatient programs designed to expedite the process and save money, according to a report by Reena Kapoor, a psychiatry expert at Yale University of Medicine. In Texas, according to a government budget analysis, state hospitals achieve a 75 percent success rate, at a cost of $421 for an average stay of 120 days. Outpatient treatment, at a reduced cost of $106 per day, has produced a success rate of 55 percent Charges were dropped against another 11 percent."

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Local Lawmakers Say: Keep Mentally Ill Out of Jail

Local Lawmakers Say:  Keep Mentally Ill Out of Jail | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Lawmakers and other elected officials in Berks County know the prison system is full of individuals who have serious mental health and substance abuse problems and would be better served in a treatment facility – but there is not much they can do...
SeversonTrends's insight:

In the United States the mentally ill are housed in prisons more often than getting the help they need.

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Mental Illness Soars In Prisons, Jails While Inmates Suffer

Mental Illness Soars In Prisons, Jails While Inmates Suffer | Mentally Ill and Prison | Scoop.it
Armando Cruz tied a noose around his neck and hanged himself from the ceiling of his prison cell. He left a note that ended in two chilling words.
SeversonTrends's insight:

A 2006 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that over half of all jail and prison inmates have mental health issues; an estimated 1.25 million suffered from mental illness, over four times the number in 1998. Research suggests that people with mental illness are overrepresented in the criminal justice system by rates of two to four times the normal population.

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