This opinion piece from Katherine Kornberg covers ground that might seem familiar to long-time readers, but if you’re new around here, this is the reality of where our mental health system is. Completely under-funded, under-resourced, and as a result? This:
“Without the proper community-based mental health solutions, prisons and jails have become a “dumping ground” for individuals with severe mental illness, many of whom have been inappropriately locked up after committing minor offenses.
Inmates with mental illnesses also tend to remain in jail longer than other inmates, often due to an inability to understand or follow rules”
The legal and penal systems were never designed for this. If we are going to put people in mental health crisis there because we don’t have any other community options, then they need to be run differently.
We need to find ways to create more resources that are outside of the legal system.
It shouldn’t be an either or proposition when “both” is the clear response.