Inside a Mental Hospital Called Jail - NY Times


THE largest mental health center in America is a huge compound here in Chicago, with thousands of people suffering from manias, psychoses and other disorders, all surrounded by high fences and barbed wire.

Just one thing: It’s a jail. The only way to get treatment is to be arrested.

Psychiatric disorders are the only kind of sickness that we as a society regularly respond to not with sympathy but with handcuffs and incarceration. And as more humane and cost-effective ways of treating mental illness have been cut back, we increasingly resort to the law-enforcement toolbox: jails and prisons.

More than half of prisoners in the United States have a mental health problem, according to a 2006 Justice Department study. Among female inmates, almost three-quarters have a mental disorder.

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I think in the public sector things are often “sentenced to success”. Then people are employed or dismissed in large numbers, facilities opened or closed down, with not much correction possible afterwards.
I guess that in the US the political belief was that medication should make other forms of care dispensible.



i have to say, if you commit a crime you have to do the time, goes for anyone who commits a crime



I watched a video on crime and it said that there’s not a major correlation between poverty and crime, but the disparities and biases that come along with money. For instance, you can’t blame someone for having a better job than you. They work hard like everyone else. If a person is a social deviant, then they can’t blame people except for those who labelled them falsely.



I think they count Anti-Social Personality Disorder in that. If they do then it skews the whole argument.

Mental illness doesn’t equal criminal behavior. If you are ill you should get treatment in a hospital. If you commit a crime you should get treatment in jail.

Really, since when does mental illness equal rape, murder, theft, etc?