Repealing and Replacing Health Care Law Would Affect Our Criminal Justice System

Nearly 50 percent of people in the criminal justice system have a mental illness. Another reality is that offenders with a mental illness or substance use disorder have an 80 percent recidivism rate. We cannot punish mental illness out of someone, and there is nothing about prison or jail that fixes addiction or cognitive dysfunction.

Study finds mental health court curbs recidivism

A new study has found that criminal defendants who graduated from mental health court demonstrated substantially reduced re-arrest rates a full three years following their release, the longest period of post-program behavior examined in a published study involving mental health courts and the clearest indicator yet of the potential for diversionary programs to ease the Read more

Inside a prison, inmates deal with mental health

All 11 are members of the facility’s mental health peer support network, who serve at the front line of the prison system’s mental illness problem. “These individuals self-disclose as having a mental illness and are in recovery,” said Lynn Patrone, a mental health advocate for the state Department of Corrections. “So they have opened themselves Read more

Exploited, abused, neglected: Mental illness and solitary confinement in Texas prisons

I’ve known men to be confined in solitary less than one year and commit suicide. It’s not only the harassment, the terrible living conditions, cold food or the toxic water (see Comrade Malik’s “Texas Prisoners at Eastham Unit Challenge Contaminated Water and Deadly Heat in US Federal Courts”); it’s the other torture tactics implemented here.

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