May 18, 2010

Study shows that more mentally ill persons are in jails and prisions

Treatment Advocacy Center* Study reveals that
“More Mentally Ill Persons Are in Jails and Prisons Than Hospitals: A Survey of the States”

Here are a few interesting findings from the report:
-3 times more seriously mentally ill persons are in jails and prisons than in hospitals.
-16% of inmates have a serious mental illness.
-40% of individuals with a mental illness have been in jail or prison at some point in their lives.
-It is becoming even more difficult to find a bed for a seriously mentally ill person who needs to be hospitalized. In 2005 there was one psychiatric bed for every 3,000 Americans.

The study concludes that this problem can be solved with the use of assisted outpatient treatment and mental health courts. San Francisco Collaborative Courts are very proud of our efforts in this area with the application of our awarding winning Behavioral Health Court back in 2002.

*The Treatment Advocacy Center is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illnesses. The Treatment Advocacy Center promotes laws, policies, and practices for the delivery of psychiatric care and supports the development of innovative treatments for and research into the causes of severe and persistent psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. For more information visit their website at

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