Having police respond to mental health crises ends up clogging up the courts and take up bed space in jails. But, until recently, the Austin Police Department hasn’t had an option. Austin’s Mobile Crisis Outreach Team’s expansion is designed to slow the number of mentally ill people idling in jails and emergency rooms and redirect them to medication and counseling.
Mental Health Media Clips
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may be as good as pills at stopping people relapsing after recovering from major bouts of depression, according to a study.
California must explain to a federal judge why state prisons again have a backlog of seriously mentally ill prisoners waiting for inpatient care while there are hundreds of empty beds at a state psychiatric hospital.
Setting a future course for the troubled Los Angeles County jail system, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a plan to move at least 1,000 mentally ill offenders out of lockups and voted to build a state-of-the-art jail focused on mental health treatment. The moves come in response to a growing debate about how the county incarcerates its inmates — particularly the mentally ill, who make up 20% of the roughly 17,000 people behind bars.
In this episode of The Diane Rehm Show, Dr. Fred Osher, director of health systems and services policy at the CSG Justice Center, joins the discussion on efforts to help people with mental illnesses stay out of jail and get into treatment.
Momentum around mental-health reform is building in Congress and gathering bipartisan support as a response to mass violence and the reality that gun control is a nonstarter.
The so-called parity law, which was intended to equalize coverage of mental and other medical conditions, has gone a long way toward eliminating obvious discrepancies in insurance coverage. But many insurers have continued to limit treatment through other strategies that are harder to track, according to researchers, attorneys and other critics.
Two of the nation’s largest jails — Rikers Island in New York and the county jail in Los Angeles — have agreed to operate under federal oversight, in part because of mistreatment of the mentally ill. Cook County Jail here in Chicago is already under such oversight and has become a model of sorts for other troubled institutions in how to deal with the mentally ill. It recently hosted delegations from Rikers Island and Los Angeles County.
Appearing in this episode of Smart Talk are Patriot-News/PennLive reporter Daniel Simmons-Ritchie, and Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel.
Three state agencies in Ohio are aggressively pushing to get the majority of the roughly 21,000 people who are released from prison every year enrolled in Medicaid up to 90 days before they walk out the door. Services don’t begin until they are released, unless they are hospitalized.