Link – When a mental health emergency lands you in jail

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Jail is a terrible place for someone having a mental health crisis:

“Across the country, and especially in rural areas, people in the middle of a mental health crisis are locked in a cell when a hospital bed or transportation to a hospital isn’t immediately available. The patients are transported from the ER like inmates, handcuffed in the back of police vehicles. Laws in five states — New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming — explicitly say that correctional facilities may be used for what is called a “mental health hold.” Even in states without such laws, the practice happens regularly.”

The only way to make this better is to have other resources available for people in crisis who may be a danger to themselves, or to make jail a place that has some mental health resources available to treat inmates and those on a “mental health hold”.

Personally, I’d like to see both of those things happen, because I believe mental health treatment should be available to anyone, even prison inmates. But we don’t have the money, or people, to do either at this point, so this will continue.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/when_a_mental_health_emergency_lands_you_in_jail

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