The Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: A State Survey
It has been known for almost 200 years that confining mentally ill persons in prisons and jails is inhumane and fraught with problems. The fact that we have re-adopted this practice in the United States in recent years is incomprehensible. Prison and jail officials are being asked to assume responsibility for the nation’s most seriously mentally ill individuals, despite the fact that the officials did not sign up to do this job; are not trained to do it; face severe legal restrictions in their ability to provide treatment for such individuals; and yet are held responsible when things go wrong, as they inevitably do under such circumstances. This misguided public policy has no equal in the United States.
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