Putting the Mentally Ill in Jail

Putting the mentally ill in jail is the focus of this 6 part series:
By ADAM GELLER AP National Writer

mentally ill in jailEach article is about 250 to 300 (pretty short) and interesting.  He is a good writer and gets the point across to his readers.

As you know, I think that everyone who is abusing drugs with enough frequency to turn themselves in “addicts” probably has some sort of mental illness.  Mental illness need not mean you are crazy. People who suffer from depression and anxiety have a mental illness.  Mental illness is a lot like other illnesses.  A person can have a “common cold” or they can have “the plague”.  Albert Einstein suffered from depression, so did Abraham Lincoln.

I just really believe that these people are trying to treat a problem with drugs.  By the way, I am one of these people.  I have depression, anxiety, OCD and I treated it with alcohol.  I used alcohol until it became a bigger problem than the mental defects I have.

Putting the mentally ill in jail

mentally ill in jailAnyway, I will let the articles do the talking but the focus is on all the problems we face by putting the mentally ill in jail .  Jails should be for caging the wild beast types who prey on society.  Drug addicts and the mentally in should not be in jail.

Does that mean I think that if a drug addict kills someone we should let him go.  It does not.  People who hurt other people deserve to be punished.  What I am suggesting is that if your only in trouble with the law because you are an addict trying to treat a mental illness society would be better served by treating you.


Here is an excerpt from the first article in the series of putting the mentally ill in jail.

By ADAM GELLER AP National Writer

The numbers, posted daily on the Cook County sheriff’s website, would be alarming at an urgent care clinic, let alone a jail: On a Wednesday, 36 percent of all new arrivals report having a mental illness. On a Friday, it’s 54 percent. But inside the razor wire framing the 96-acre compound, the faces and voices of the newly arrested confirm its accidental role as Chicago’s treatment center of last resort for people with serious mental illnesses. It’s a job thrust on many of the nation’s 3,300 local jails, and like them, it is […]

A little further in the article and Mr Geller puts a face to the numbers.

Two pens over, a white-haired man with a cane huddles on a bench, booked in on a narcotics charge. He tells Montgomery he is haunted by visions of people he killed in the Vietnam War, and heroin eases the post-traumatic stress.

Link to original article Jails Struggle to Deal With Flood of Mentally Ill