Mental Health in Jail
The 21st, a production of Illinois Public Media
By Cass Herrington, Robin Linn, Alan Montecillo, and Libby Foster
Roughly one in four jail inmates shows signs of a serious mental illness. And two-thirds of them never receive treatment. Those numbers come from the U.S. Department of Justice. Getting proper mental health care in jail is a constitutional right. Adding to that, experts say mental health treatment can also keep inmates from coming back.
Some Illinois county jails want to step up mental health screening, to stop the revolving door of inmates who aren’t getting the right treatment.
We were joined in studio by Allen Jones, Deputy Chief of the Champaign County Jail. On the line with us from New York was Richard Cho. He directs the behavioral health division of the Council of State Governments Justice Center. Also in the studio was Christine Herman, a reporter with Illinois Public Media and Side Effects News.