Will County Democratic Central Committee - News

Published on Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How we shaft the mentally ill

Those of us within the mental health and law enforcement communities know the truth — the "reinvestments" never come to fruition. When these institutions close, the seriously ill patients end up on their own, often on the street with no support system to keep them stable or medicated. Inevitably, they suffer psychotic states and commit petty crimes that land them within the unyielding grip of the criminal justice system — caught in a revolving door between jail and the streets.

Indeed, mental illness has been effectively criminalized in Illinois. The same society that deemed the old mental asylums as abhorrent has witnessed the evolution of jails and prisons into the new asylums. Currently, the largest mental health hospital in Illinois is not even a hospital — it's Cook County Jail, which I oversee as sheriff. My office's conservative estimate is that one-third of the 10,000 inmates in custody suffer from serious mental illnesses.

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Author: Editor

Categories: State Issues

Tags: Illinois, Mental Health

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P.O. Box 4242 | Joliet, IL 60434 | Email: members@willcountydemocrats.com

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