An excellent point raised by Rushing is the near-complete lack of discussion about providing mental health services in the ongoing national healthcare debate. I'd also noticed that nobody in D.C. is talking about mental health and have wondered how the "individual mandate" for people to buy insurance will work with people who are homeless and mentally ill.
Kudos to the Harris County Sheriff for letting Rushing in the jail for interviews with inmates, medical staff, and front-line jail personnel. The state prison system refused, which I thought was bad form. Everybody knows we have a serious problem with warehousing the mentally ill in prisons and jails; there's no need to be close-lipped with the media about what's happening inside public institutions.
RELATED: From MWWatch.org, see "Loathsome Prison Conditions for the Mentally Ill," covering a recent Congressional hearing on the topic.
Related Grits posts:
- Mentally ill youth strain juvenile system
- Total spent on homeless 'frequent fliers' better spent outside of jail
- SA Jail Shrink: Mental health services in free world a must
- Number of mentally ill in jail a 'community barometer'
- Reduce number of mentally ill offenders languishing in jail
- Prevention, punishment, mental illness and crime
- Outpatient centers better solution than jails for competency restoration
- Mental health courts: A strategy that works?
- Federal bill backing mental health courts a teaspoon of remedy for an oceanic problem
- Locals everywhere struggle to manage mentally ill offenders
- Using jails for mental health treatment an expensive, counterproductive approach
- Number of mentally ill inmates, parolees rising