I lived in Oregon until earlier this year, Portland has a huge problem with homelessness and lack of mental health resources, which is why so many people wind up in jail at least temporarily. This is what happens when you don’t have mental health resources available though.
A REPORT RELEASED by Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) last March made it abundantly clear: The Multnomah County Detention Center, the downtown jail operated by the sheriff’s office, is a dreadful place for people with severe mental illness.
The limited staff is not well trained, and jail facilities and policies are harmful, the report found. It detailed incidents involving mentally ill inmates that would seem at home at Guantanamo Bay.
“Medical and mental healthcare in jail is woefully inadequate and so the jail relies on correctional tools: rampant use of solitary confinement, punitive use of restraints and suicide watch, and routinized force against people with mental illness,” says the DRO report, which was written by attorney Sarah Radcliffe.