“I was putting people in jail thinking that they would get treatment because I didn’t know any better,” said Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton.
Mental Health Media Clips
As police forces across the country re-evaluate their practices regarding encounters with people with mental health problems, Minneapolis authorities are considering an approach that might seem to fly in the face of conventional policing wisdom: Stand down, and leave it to the professionals.
Mental health workers are joining Denver police on foot and in their patrol cars to help handle calls involving people in mental health crisis, a new program aimed at getting people into treatment instead of sending them to jail.
One of the biggest barriers to addressing the mental health crisis in the Cedar Valley (Iowa) isn’t a lack of resources. It’s overcoming the stigma surrounding mental illness.
The initiative resolved to take action in several ways such as assembling diverse leadership teams, collecting data to better identify adults with mental illnesses who are entering the jail system, and identifying available mental health programs and services available in the county.
The New York City Department of Correction failed to get inmates to needed mental health appointments close to 40,000 times over the past four months.
Greenville County Council, in South Carolina, unanimously approved a resolution that supports the Stepping Up Initiative, a movement also dedicated to addressing the issue of mental illness behind bars.
“Currently, those in need of mental health services only have three options we’re aware of – inpatient care, outpatient care or care during incarceration,” said Chief Deputy Randy Christian in Jefferson County, Alabama.
“We know that people with serious mental disorders are at somewhat elevated risk of committing violence,” Dr. Paul Appelbaum says. “Even so, the vast majority of them never commit a violent act. And we know that people with serious mental illnesses are much more likely to end up as victims of violence rather than as perpetrators.”
Erie County Council is supporting a national initiative aimed at helping those in jail who suffer from mental disabilities in jails.