Director’s Blog: A Misfortune Not a Crime
Despite careful monitoring and daily insulin, many people with type I diabetes experience emergencies like diabetic coma that require hospital care. Imagine a dystopic world where this care was not given in hospitals but in jails alongside inmates convicted of violent crimes. Imagine that, for lack of hospital beds, people requiring longer-term care for often disabling diabetic complications had to be housed in state prisons, where medical care was not a priority and personal safety was not assured.
If you think this sounds like a far-fetched premise for an apocalyptic movie or health care parable, check out a new report from the Treatment Advocacy Center on the treatment of people with serious mental illness. According to this report, there are now 10 times more people with serious mental illness in state prisons (207,000) and county jails (149,000) than there are in state mental hospitals (35,000). The report includes a state-by-state assessment of treatment of people with mental illness in jails and prisons. In 44 of the 50 states, the largest single “mental institution” is a prison or jail. The Cook County Jail in Chicago, Shelby County Jail in Memphis, and Polk County Jail in Des Moines each hold more individuals with serious mental illness than do all the state mental hospitals combined in those states.
Full Article at Link above.