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Monday, May 25, 2015

A shocking number of mentally ill Americans end up in prison instead of treatment

By Ana Swanson
The Washington Post
Originally published April 30, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

For various reasons, these community treatment plans proved inadequate, leaving many of the mentally ill homeless or in jail. According to the Department of Justice, about 15 percent of state prisoners and 24 percent of jail inmates report symptoms meet the criteria for a psychotic disorder.

In its survey of individual states, the Treatment Advocacy Center found that in 44 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the largest prison or jail held more people with serious mental illness than the largest state psychiatric hospital (see map below). The only exceptions were Kansas, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. "Indeed, the Polk County Jail in Iowa, the Cook County Jail in Illinois, and the Shelby County Jail in Tennessee each have more seriously mentally ill inmates than all the remaining state psychiatric hospitals in that state combined," the report says.

The entire article is here.