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Mental Health, Addiction and Incarceration

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  • Create Date January 21, 2023
  • Last Updated January 9, 2024

Mental Health, Addiction and Incarceration

How do we provide, when appropriate, alternatives to jail for mentally ill, addicted and indigent individuals?

There is growing awareness and concern at the high rates (50 to 60 percent) of mentally ill people inside our jails and prisons. What is the appropriate response to an individual with mental health challenges who commits a crime? Does it depend on the crime? What is the role of addiction and mental illness? To what degree are mental health problems emerging because of the atmosphere in our criminal justice system?

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