Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mental-health issue

Almost a fourth of the inmates in Kentucky's prisons and jails have a very mental-health issue, and it's portion of an expanding national problem. "America's lockups are its new asylums," Gary Fields and Erica Phillips report to the Wall Street Journal. "After scores of state mental institutions were closed starting in the 1970s, few alternatives materialized. Most of the afflicted finished up around the streets, where, untreated, they became weaker to joblessness, drug use and crime."
The reporters quote Esteban Gonzalez, president from the American Jail Association, a lobby for jail employees: "In every state I have visited, the jails have become the de facto mental institutions." Of the 22 states that responded at length on the reporters' survey, which all together have a lot of the nation's prisoners, "their mental-health patient ratios ranged derived from one of in 10 inmates to at least one by 50 %," the ratio reported in Oregon and Iowa.

Of Kentucky's 12,300 prisoners, 24 percent possess a mental-health issue, as outlined by information the reporters caused by hawaii Department of Corrections.

The situation is returning on the points in the 100 years or higher ago, when understanding of mental illness was rudimentary at the best and also the mentally ill often would up behind bars. State-run mental institutions were developed, but turned into community-based treatment. "The weaknesses of the concept' a not enough facilities, barriers produced by privacy laws and tightened local assuring funding'has brought picture full circle," the Journal reports.

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