My question is ... why are Kentucky funds used to warehouse the most seriously mentally ill in prisons ... or worse they are surviving in the streets of Louisville and Lexington?
On July 20, 2010, I posted Jenn Ackerman's award winning documentary about how individuals with severe mental illness are "trapped" in Kentucky's prison system, because I learned that no Kentucky media outlet had ever released it.
I asked why?
Are the media outlets paid off?
In fact, Jenn's report was one of the main reasons I created this Blog. Three years later, this Blog receives over 2000 hits a month and the primary reason is people are searching for information on how to help people who are mentally ill in jail in Kentucky.
I realized Kentucky media outlets rarely shared the real story of preventable tragedies -- often leaving out the criminal of a violent act was more often a victim of Kentucky's failed mental health system.
Each day, I read of horrific murders and domestic violence reports where individuals have shot or stabbed their family members -- and often commit suicide themselves. (In fact, I learned of two traumatic events just this weekend in nearby counties.) Many times, I receive a tip from horrified families where they have learned the person who committed the crime had just been released from a state psychiatric hospital with no follow-up care -- or perhaps worse, they were denied treatment at a state hospital! Many suffered with 'untreated' mental illness for years before they finally kill themselves or others.
This is yet another reason why I lobby for better and more humane outpatient treatment laws and the primary reason this Blog was founded!
The report from the Austria International report is extremely stigmatizing with a huge headline that reads ...
13 Haunting Pictures Of Insane Prisoners In Kentucky The Wall Street Journal had a staggering report recently that showed just how many crazy people America keeps in its jails instead of mental hospitals aimed at helping them get better.
They go on to report, "America’s three biggest jail systems — New York City, Los Angeles, and Cook County in Illinois — have 11,000 inmates being treated for mental illness. By comparison, the WSJ reported, the three largest state-run mental hospitals in the U.S. have only 4,000 beds.
"Minneapolis-based photographer Jenn Ackerman got permission to photograph the Kentucky State Reformatory‘s psychiatric unit in 2008, after reading an article about the mentally ill prison. It was not easy for Ackerman to get this kind of access, and the photos she took are absolutely haunting. We are running them with her permission.
For more information visit Jenn's website at: www.jennackerman.com
Ask them why this inhumane treatment for our most vulnerable individuals continues, as it has been going on for decades!
20 years ago, Treatment Advocacy Center founder Dr. E. Fuller Torrey gave Kentucky an award for the "worse state in the nation" on housing the mentally ill in prisons.
Please learn how "assisted outpatient treatment" standards could help stop this insanity!