By Monica E. Oss, Chief Executive Officer In the United States, mental illness and the corrections system are inextricably linked. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show that approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition (see Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates). The Urban Institute estimates are higher – half of all inmates in jails and state prisons have a mental illness (see The Processing and Treatment of Mentally Ill Persons in the Criminal Justice System). The estimate is that two million people with serious mental illnesses (SMI) enter county jails…
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