The New York Times (2/19, A25A, O’Shea, Subscription Publication) reported that at the Cook County Jail in Illinois, an estimated 2,000 of some 11,000 prisoners “suffer from some form of serious mental illness,” according to Tom Dart, the Cook County sheriff. “Dart said the system ‘is so screwed up that I’ve become the largest mental health provider in the state of Illinois.'” Unfortunately, “the situation is about to get worse, according to Mr. Dart and other criminal justice experts. The city” of Chicago “plans to shut down six of its 12 mental health centers by the end of April, to save an estimated $2 million, potentially leaving many patients without adequate treatment — some of them likely to engage in conduct that will lead to arrests.”
— “Psychiatric Patients With No Place to Go but Jail,”BRIDGET O’SHEA , The New York Times, February 18, 2012.