PRISONS HAVE REPLACED
MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES
There is one reality about mental illness that chills me to the bone. It is the fact that there are 5 TIMES MORE people with mental illness in prison than the general population. Did you know that up to 30 percent of prisoners have a treatable mental disorder? This saddens me since people like my brother, who is now in a state hospital receiving care, will always have mental illness. He is not immuned to the possibility of ending up on the streets or even jail one day. As his family, we worry about all these possibilities because we love him and want him well, no matter what. Most people don't realize that someone with a mental illness does not belong in prison. It may allow the general population to feel "SAFE" but this fear is a direct result of propaganda (which is why I am fighting stigma). Those with mental illness deserve the same dignity, respect and treatment as any person who is sick, period. Could you imagine if your loved one was deprived of necessary treatment because his or her illness impairs judgement? I can tell you that in my experience, it if feels like your heart is being choked to death. I hope you can take a moment to read this very important and insightful article about imprisonment and mental illness.