Monday, January 14, 2008

Jail is no place for the mentally ill

An estimated 15% of jail inmates are seriously mentally ill. Treatment options are few. Is this the standard that we want to be known for?

read more | digg story

After serving as a police officer, teaching in the Texas prison system, and my continued study of the criminal justice system for over two decades, I thought I was fairly immune to the deprivations that the system inflicts on individuals. But the story of this young man caught in the bureaucratic nightmare of indifference, underfunding, and ideology brings us to a new low.

It has been said that a society can be gaged by how it treats its lowest elements. Is the described treatment the standard by which we want to be known? Are you satisfied with this situation? Do you think it is a good investment of funds? Is this example the best we have to offer in terms of best practices and good public policy?

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