Wouldn’t it be completely irrational to sentence every mentally ill individual to jail purely because they suffered from a mental illness? Often, mentally ill people behave in an eccentric manner and allure the attention of police officers who do not differentiate the mentally ill from mentally stable people and immediately charge them with misdemeanors. There are approximately 300,000 inmates, with the number increasing every year, which suffer from a mental illness and do not receive proper treatment. Jails are not adequately equipped to care for mentally ill inmates, which can lead to an escalation of an inmate’s illness. Society has failed to provide enough social resources for citizens suffering from psychiatric illnesses in its community, transferring mentally unstable individuals between mental institutions and jails, when in fact adequate aid such as providing proper medication, rehabilitation opportunities, and more psychiatric hospitals in communities is a necessity to reconstitute these individuals.
Since reported on any given night here in the metro more than 3,000 adults and 7,500 kids are homeless in our area. We are not sure why the rate has risen so much over the years. “Maybe because the declining economy is almost certain for the external event most commonly said to make people homeless” (Shumoky, Neil Larry). Many people who are homeless are, victims of domestic violence, after deciding to leave an abusive relationship, they often have nowhere to go for those who have few resource. Also, Lack of money needed for housing and having to wait on a list for assisted housing means they have to chose between staying with an abuser or living on the street with their kids.
In the United States 2,193,798 people are held in Federal prisons, local prisons and local/county jails. In local prisons 64.2 % of the inmates have a mental illness, 56.2 % in Federal prisons and 44.8 % in state prisons. Most of the inmates could have prevented their stay at the prisons if they were provided help for their illness, however they were not and they still have to serve their sentenced time. The inmates locked up are abused daily by other inmates or even the officers in charge. They cannot help they have illness and it is not fair that they have to suffer a punishment worse than they already have to.
Mental illness is a prevalent issue in our country today. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated that 20-25% of our nations homeless suffer from mental illness (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009). Many people with mental illness end up in prison without proper care and supportive housing (NAMI, 2011). Without proper care, people with severe mental illness cannot function as productive members of society (HCH Clinician’s Network, 2000). Proper housing, care, and professionals to guide them, the quality of life for people with severe mental illness is poor.
There are over 3.5 million homeless people in the US now. Also, a quarter of people living on the streets are severely mentally ill, and must be admitted to institutions, and have the capability to if they were given or knew they had a chance. The poverty level is constantly rising, and is forcing more and more people onto the streets. We can just sit around and hope someone else does it, or we can take action. Next time you walk by homeless man or family, and before you make a judgement about them, just take a minute and think about how easily it could be you.
However, due to the recent recession government sources reduced funds available for mental health services (Thomas). This economic reality coupled with an already fragmented health care system has left mental ill vulnerable. Patients that fall into the cracks in the system often end up in homeless shelters, jails/prisons or the morgue (Szabo, 2012). In 2013, a news agency reported a California city sought reimbursement for services from Nevada for alleged patient dumping (CBS News). Patients without proper support systems struggle to survive by any means available and for some that means criminal activity.
The Mentally Ill in Jail The articles inform that more mentally ill people are in jail than in hospitals. According to statistics 159,000 of mentally ill are presently incarcerated in jails and prisons, mostly of crimes committed because they were not being treated. Some of them become violent and may terrorize their families and neighborhoods. Tragically, most of those instances of incarceration are unnecessary. We know what to do, but for economic, legal and ideological reasons, we fail to do it.
There are many issues within the United States Prison System today. Two leading examples of what is wrong with the prison system is the high rate of incarceration and the unjust laws that help land people in our prisons. Unfortunately, over the years, there have been few attempts to repair these problems. Fortunately, there are several ways that we can address these issues. A major problem within the prison system is the high rate of incarceration.
were males, 7221, and the rest 564 were females. In order to see if the participates had any sort of mental illness they looked at self reported treatment, related to mental health (Biltz). The results of this study found that the amount of inmates that participating in this study had a disproportionally number of inmates with mental healthy that were physically victimized. According to this study prisons are a violent and unsafe place for people who suffer from mental illness (Biltz). Male inmates who suffered from any form of mental illness were nearly 1.6 times more likely to be physically victimized while in prison.
Some people who are homeless have long-term issues like mental illness, drug addiction, and alcoholism, homeless people that have these addictions does not have health insurance and this could be a major if they become seriously ill. Most people don’t care about the homeless people who are drug addicts, alcoholics, or mentally ill but people should help the homeless that have those problems instead of ignoring them, making fun of them, or just being plain scared of them, they also need people in their lives that care enough abo... ... middle of paper ... ...Present." Street News Service. Street News Service, 7 July 2010.