Options for Mentally Ill Offenders That Don’t Involve Jail

18May
2016

Many Americans with mental illness end up in jails and prisons each year. They also tend to spend longer terms in prison and end up back in prison costing local jurisdictions more money. They are typically jailed for nonviolent reasons and end up lacking the treatment they need. So what are other options for the mentally ill offenders that doesn’t involve incarceration?

Mental health options in Phoenix: Community corrections

police motorcycle enforcing mentally ill lawsCommunity corrections is an alternative to prison for nonviolent offenders. The mentally ill can benefit from these programs because they provide several treatments aimed at helping mental disorders and substance addiction. Phoenix House offers a community treatment program as an alternative to prison. This program costs less than prison and offers significant help in a clinically supportive environment. Phoenix House provides a number of treatments:

  • Assessment and evaluation services: Phoenix House provides individual assessments and evaluations of substance abuse and mental disorders that can be requested by individuals, families, schools and the Criminal Justice System.
  • Mental health services: Phoenix House provides treatment programs specifically designed to treat mental illnesses in kids and adults short term and long term.
  • Sober living and recovery support: Phoenix House offers a safe transition space before fully returning to independent living or an alternative to residential treatment depending on the situation.
  • Mother and child residential services: Phoenix House offers professional services for pregnant women and women with young children in a residential setting.
  • Adult outpatient services: Adults have the option of receiving outpatient services that provide a comprehensive array of substance abuse and mental health programs. All programs use evidence based practices that are safe, supportive and accredited.
  • Adult residential services: Phoenix House’s residential treatments are catered to each individual and create solutions to meet each individual’s needs. Stay lengths are flexible and programs meet any treatment needs.
  • Adult detoxification and stabilization: Phoenix House offers medical and social detoxification and stabilization services that helps individuals detox safely and then connects them to the next level of care.

Photo by John O’Neill

Posted in Arizona, Arizona Laws, Mental Health Defenses | Tagged , , , , |

More Mentally Ill Peeople are in Prison than Hospitals

5May
2016

According to to the Treatment Advocacy Center more people suffering from mental illness are in jails and prisons than hospitals and mental health facilities.

Using previously unpublished data from 2004 and 2005, TAC found that the mentally ill are three times more likely to be in jail or prison than in hospitals. Broken down by state, Arizona and Nevada top the list with almost ten times as many mentally ill in prison than hospital, proving that the U.S. prison system have become our new mental hospitals of yore.

Some states like North Dakota however, have an equal number of mentally ill in prisons and hospitals.

Another recent study found that at least 16 percent of prison populations suffer from a serious mental illness. Compare that to a 1983 study that found only 6.3 percent of inmates suffer from mental. That means that over the past three decades the percentage of mentally ill in prison has nearly tripled.

This isn’t news to the mental health community which shows that nearly 40 percent of individuals with mental health problems have been incarcerated at some point their lives.

prison where mentally ill are keptThis could be a result of the fact that it is incredibly difficult for a mental health patient to find a bed in a mental health facility. In, 1955 there was one psychiatric bed for every 300 Americans, in 2016 there was one psychiatric bed for every 3,000 Americans. That is is precipitous drop in mental health care availability. To make matters worse, the majority of these beds are filled by court-ordered cases and not truly available for those in need of help.

At Garcia Law we are advocates for those who suffer from mental illness and we will fight for their rights. If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness and they have not received the care that they deserve, schedule an appointment with us today. We will do what we can to ensure that the mentally ill are no longer forgotten and pushed aside in America.

Photo by HelenOnline

Posted in Arizona, Mental Health Defenses | Tagged , , |