Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Neighboring state's challenges with mental health laws and mental health courts

This article was recently published in Tennessee, but it could easily be about one of hundreds of mentally ill inmates currently sitting in Kentucky's jails and prisons. Each day Kentucky state funds are used to wearhouse people that need medical attention, not time behind bars.

Joan Garrett, award winning journalist for the Chattanooga Times, reports one Tennessee family's frustrating experience of a sick son caught in the Revolving Door of Criminalization:
"In the cellblocks of the county jail, suspected murderers, drug traffickers, burglars, wife beaters and rapists wait for hearings and trials. Somewhere among them sits Dennis James' schizophrenic son.
 His crime? He's sick."
"Kyle's case is a textbook example of how thousands of mentally ill cycle through -- court and jail, court and jail, court and jail -- with no psychiatric improvement, raising questions about whether judges should be handing down sentences or treatments."

Read this powerful story here: Chattanooga Times: Hamilton County Jails Are Often Home for the Mentally Ill - Advocates Say They Have Better Idea


Ind. scrambles to address ruling on mentally ill inmates


Ken Falk, left, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, says at least 11 mentally ill inmates isolated in Indiana prisons have committed suicide, one of the reasons a federal judge ruled Monday that the state has violated prisoners' Eighth Amendment protections from cruel and unusual punishment.(Photo: Charlie Nye, The Indianapolis Star)

Indiana Department of Correction called "deliberately indifferent" to treatment problems.

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