Courts flooded with mentally ill
November 27, 2015
A Miami-Dade County judge’s mission to stop making the nation’s jails and prisons America’s new asylums
Critics contend that America’s criminal justice system is going bankrupt incarcerating the mentally ill, all the while making sick people even sicker in the process. In 44 states and the District of Columbia, the largest mental health providers are jails and prisons, not hospitals. According to some surveys, 20 to 80 percent of inmates in the U.S. suffer from some diagnosable mental illness. Once incarcerated, people with mental illnesses remain locked up eight times as long as people without mental illnesses, at seven times the cost to taxpayers. That’s why one judge in Florida has made it his mission to change the system. He’s doing all he can to take the mentally ill out of the criminal justice system.