With dwindling options for state-level mental health treatment, county jails are managing a population of inmates that they are often ill equipped to handle. According to the Department of Justice’s 2006 Special Report, 64 percent of those being held in local jails had a mental illness, up from 16 percent in 1998.Read more
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Kan. — Like many cities and counties, Douglas County, Kan., has seen an uptick in the number of people with mental health conditions arriving at the county jail. Last year, the number was nearly 40 percent. In an era where more people in the community suffer mental health impairments and less funding is available for treatment, it’s no surprise. As part of its current study to address jail overcrowding, the county is looking for a new solution.Read more
NEW YORK CITY — On Monday, Dec. 1, New York City announced that they plan to spend $130 million in order to change the way its criminal justice system handles mentally ill inmates. The plan was issued by Mayor Bill de Blasio, and concerns itself with mentally ill inmates cycling between prison systems, and the way the justice system controls these mentally ill inmates. The plan also desires to look into a way to prevent unnecessary arrests, and then punishing those who commit such minor crimes with treatment rather than jail time.Read more
NEW YORK — The Council of State Governments Justice Center selected the leading judges of Delaware, Idaho, New Hampshire and Wisconsin to participate in the Chief Justices’ Criminal Justice Mental Health Leadership Initiative.
Part of the Council of State Governments’ Criminal Justice Mental Health Consensus Project, the leadership initiative was developed to help State Supreme Court justices improve criminal justice system responses to individuals with mental health issues.Read more
WASHINGTON — A five-year, multimillion dollar federal funding package to support the treatment of mentally ill inmates and ex-offenders at the state and local level passed into law as President Bush signed the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act.Read more
More Than 8,000 Texas Inmates Diagnosed With Major Psychiatric Disorder
GALVESTON, Texas — Authorities should expand specialized interventions and programming to reduce the higher recidivism rates that exist among inmates with major mental illness, according to a University of Texas Medical Branch study.Read more