Prisons As America’s New Asylums

Fact: There are approximately 10 times as many people with severe mental illness in prisons than there are in state psychiatric hospitals.

Fact: Approximately 15% of the prison population is estimated to suffer from severe mental illness, according to the Department of Justice.

Fact: In addition to the increased number of prisoners with mental illnesses, the severity of the illnesses is also rising.

Source: The Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: A State Survey, The Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriff’s Association

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