republished from the: HUFF POST, CHICAGO
First Posted: 02/21/2012 5:53 pm Updated: 02/22/2012 2:15 pm
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says the county jail is so overwhelmed with people whose offenses are more attributable to mental health issues than criminal impulses that the facility has become a source of mental health care for the city, and he's sick of it.
Dart told the Chicago News Cooperative that the system "is so screwed up that I’ve become the largest mental health provider in the state of Illinois."
Of the 11,000 prisoners detained at Cook County Jail at any given time, Dart estimates that about 2,000 suffer from a serious form of mental illness, he told the CNC. At an estimated cost of about $143 per detainee per day, the overflow from the nearby state-run Elgin Mental Health Center, which can handle only 582 patients at a time, stands to put an undue burden on the jail's resources. To read the entire article click here:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/cook-county-jail-a-mental_n_1291851.html