Jails and Emergency Rooms Are Our De Facto Mental Health Clinics

From the Pacific Standard:

This is not just a Cook County problem, nor just a Virginia, Oklahoma, or Nebraska problem. Research shows that jails across the country are crowded with the mental health patients who aren’t getting treatment elsewhere. And this has been true for decades. Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, a research psychiatrist who founded the Treatment Advocacy Center to push for better access to mental health care, has estimated that are three times more mentally ill people in jail and prisons than there are in hospitals in America (PDF). Some studies estimate that as many as 50 percent of all inmates of jails and prisons suffer from some kind of mental illness.

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