Nationwide, 16 state prison systems have no formal procedure to enroll prisoners in Medicaid as they reenter the community, according to a survey by The Marshall Project. Nine states have only small programs in select facilities or for limited groups of prisoners, like those with disabilities. These 25 states collectively release some 375,000 inmates each year.
Mental Health Media Clips
When new inmates come in to Carroll County Jail, they are evaluated for what type of risks they pose and what they may need for services in order to be successful when they leave.
Butler County, Ohio has joined a national initiative, Stepping Up, designed to reduce the number of people suffering from mental illness issues and addiction problems, who are crowding the jail and also are often repeat offenders.
Keeping people with mental illness out of jail not only helps them to have productive lives, but it reduces the amount we spend on their confinement, allowing these resources to be used more productively elsewhere, writes the Editorial Board of the Winston-Salem Journal.
Every dollar a state spends on mental health cuts about 25 cents from jail expenditures, according to a new study from Oregon State University.
Forsyth County, North Carolina’s Stepping Up Initiative is making a step forward to reduce the number of mentally ill inmates in the county jail.
A coalition of local government entities and private organizations in Alamance County, North Carolina are trying to address underlying mental health conditions that go untreated with the development of Alamance Steps Up, a program based on the national Stepping Up initiative to reduce the number of mentally ill people in county jails.
Modeled after a national program called the Stepping Up Initiative, the Doña Ana Wellness Institute in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, with the Stepping Up Partnership, seeks to help people living with mental illnesses stay out of jail and on a path to recovery with jail diversion options to avoid incarceration, crisis intervention systems, community re-entry support services, and improved data collection and sharing.
While serious mental illness exists in 5 percent of the general population, that figure rises to 17 percent in the jail population.
As a parole officer for the Kansas Department of Corrections, specializing in offenders with serious mental illnesses in Sedgwick County, Dawn Shepler would help her clients find housing, make appointments for health care and sign up for benefits such as food stamps.