Nationwide, a significant portion of jail and prison inmates suffer from mental illness. In many cases, these individuals cycle in and out of the criminal justice system without receiving appropriate care and consideration for their particular needs. Consequently, people with mental illnesses are more likely to re-offend, re-enter the criminal justice system, and have violent encounters with law enforcement. The status quo is failing people struggling with mental illness and it also results in reduced public safety and wasted taxpayer dollars.
However, some states and municipalities are implementing interventions within courts, the community, and correctional institutions that could help address