Tag Archives: mental illness

LA County Approves $2 Billion Jail; Majority of Cells Designated for Mentally Ill

Fact: Los Angeles County recently approved a $2 billion project for a new 4,860 bed county jail to be built by a private contractor. 

Fact: 3,260 of the beds – 67 percent – are intended for those suffering from mental illnesses. 

Fact: About 75% of inmates with mental illnesses are re-incarcerated into L.A. county jails – almost four times the rate of comparable cities, like Miami, which has a recidivism rate among the mentally ill of 20%.

Fact: In L.A. county, it costs $20,412/year to support a person with mental illness in a housing program. 

Fact: In L.A. county, it costs about $60,000/year to incarcerate a person with mental illness. 

Source: L.A. County Jail Plan is a $2 Billion Blunder That Embraces Incarceration, Not Treatment, for Mentally Ill, LA Weekly. 

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

Bureau of Prisons Conception of Mental Illness

Fact: Both publicly and in court filings, the Bureau of Prisons insists that mental illness is treatable and curable, like a cold or infection, rather than a permanent condition.

Fact: No other prison system is known to use this concept. No others in the corrections or psychology field takes this view.

SourceThe Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Abuses of Solitary Confinement, Washington Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights and Urban Affairs