One of the reasons I founded this Blog 4 years ago, was the fact that Kentucky had the fastest growing prison population in the United States.
Far too many of these prisoners suffer with 'untreated' serious and persistent mental illness. 40-50% have anosognosia, a lack of insight or awareness of their illness -- which is the major impediment to receiving needed health care, even if it was accessible in the community!
This recipe for disaster sets these individuals up to fail, sometimes at very young ages! We continue to treat these 'humans' with a brain disease' much worse than animals in pet shelters!
PBS/FRONTLINE has recently produced a series of revealing films about this epidemic! Watch these films and decide for yourself. One important solution to this problem is HR 3717.
Airing Tuesday night, (April 28, 2014), the producers will follow four residents of the Beecher Terrace housing complex in Louisville, KY -- as they cycle in and out of jails and prisons.
Mark Bolton, the director of Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, is prominently featured in the film, denouncing the nation’s custom of warehousing petty criminals.
“We’re locking up people that we’re pissed off at,” Bolton says in the film. “We ought to be using this space for people we’re afraid of, violent folks, people that are going to hurt me and you. We’ve gone through an explosion of jail and prison construction in this county, costing us billions and billions of dollars to build and billions and billions to operate. And we’ve come to a fork in the road where we can’t do that anymore.”
The film intends to highlight how the county’s culture of incarceration disproportionally effects inner city neighborhoods, like Beecher Terrace, where getting locked up has become an expectation. Reporter Claire Galofaro can be reached at (502) 582-7086
Prison State airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday on PBS.
Read more here:
Click here to view the Frontline films:http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/locked-up-in-america/
“The Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: A State Survey” reports that 10 times more individuals with serious mental illness are in state prisons and county jails than in the nation’s remaining state mental hospitals – an estimated 356,000 mentally ill inmates compared with 35,000 patients. See Kentucky info here: http://changementalhealthlawsinky.blogspot.com/2014/04/kentucky-failing-inmates-with-mental.html