Richmond Sheriff: Mentally Ill Do Not Belong in Correctional Facilities

It is difficult to acquire depth perception on SMI without seeing it up close.  Sheriffs and wardens across this country are tasked with the challenge of having to manage facilities that are populated with ever-increasing numbers of inmates who are afflicted with SMI.   Seeing SMI up close provides these professionals with an opportunity to acquire insight into these tragic brain disorder in a way that would not otherwise be possible.

While DJP advocates vigorously for the moral and just adjudication of people with SMI through the criminal justice system, we are reconciled with the reality that the sickest of the sick will continue to be convicted and punished.  They will continue to end up in jails and prisons, in solitary confinement, and in many cases “locked-in” to their own endogenous hell on earth that psychosis inflicts upon the human mind.  In some respect, the best that advocates can hope for in the present is that reforms will be implemented to at the very least reduce the abuses that are a grim reality for people with SMI that are incarcerated.  Sheriffs and wardens across this country are already advocating for change.  We thank them.

Link to article: MI do not belong in punitive institutions.

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