US Prisons Strained By Numbers Of Inmates With Mental Illnesses.

On its front page, the Wall Street Journal (9/26, A1, Fields, Phillips, Subscription Publication) reports on the huge number of persons with mental illness incarcerated in jails and prisons, noting that the country’s largest jail systems, those of New York City, Los Angeles County, and Cook County, IL, are the de facto biggest treatment facilities for mental illness in the US. Deinstitutionalization in the 1970s, during which many state psychiatric hospitals were downsized or closed, coupled with the lack of mental healthcare in community settings, has led to this situation. Having large numbers of prisoners with serious mental health disorders poses a strain on Federal, state, and local lock-ups which lack facilities, budgets and mental healthcare professionals to provide proper treatment.

Related Links:

— “The New Asylums: Jails Swell With Mentally Ill, The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2013.

Posted in In The News.