Mentally Ill, and with a Rap Sheet

20April
2014

An interesting and detailed article from South Carolina gives insight into the intersecting worlds of the mentally ill and the criminal justice system.  In Arizona, a person suffering from mental illness is five times more likely to be behind bars than to be hospitalized.  “Prisons are now the largest mental hospitals,” according to Columbia SC psychiatrist Dr. Harold Morgan.

Funding programs for the mentally ill has not been a politically popular choice, especially with an economy that is sluggish at best.  With hospital beds decreasing over the past 30+ years, and families unable to grapple with the burdens, Department of Corrections personnel are the ones left to treat the sufferer, but now as an inmate.

Once a prisoner with mental illness is released, they are often just left alone, with predictable consequences.  Despair, homelessness, poverty.

There are options for those suffering from mental illness, who are charged with a crime.  The options are there, but they are very hard to find.  You need an attorney on your side who is experienced with these matters.

 

 

 

Original Article in the Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina)

Posted in Arizona, Mental Health Defenses |

“The Mentally Ill, Behind Bars”

6April
2014

This opinion piece by the New York Times Editorial Board is well worth reading.  It highlights a growing problem in the state of New York, but a problem which all states share to some extent:  that of the growing population of prison inmates who are mentally ill.

They state that 40% of New York’s 12,000 inmates have mental illness.

It cites a new court intervention program for those mentally ill people who commit crimes to receive needed treatment instead of jail sentences.

Everyone — including the mentally ill — deserves a fair and just trial in the Arizona court system.  If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, and if there is a history of mental problems, make sure you get an attorney who has deep experience in defending the mentally ill. 

Posted in Mental Health Defenses |