The line between health issues and legal issues is frequently blurred, particularly with mental illness and substance use disorders. How can we un-blur that line? How do we get people the help they need while maintaining public safety? Host Sue Humphreys talks with Ayesha Delany-Brumsey of the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and Stepping Up Initiative to examine health issues in the justice system and what’s making a difference.
In every county in the U.S. that has both a jail and a county psychiatric facility, more people with mental illnesses are in jail than in the hospital. Forty-four states report that their jails and prisons house more people with mental illnesses than their largest state psychiatric hospital. We have a problem in this country, and it’s not just a jail problem. It’s a systemic problem. Mental illness is being criminalized, and it’s up to everyone involved in the justice system to stop it.