Friday, March 4, 2016

"Hundreds of Minnesotans with mental illnesses are being confined in county jails — in some cases, illegally — because of a severe shortage of psychiatric services and long-standing gaps in state law."

From the Star Tribune: 

In a scathing report issued Thursday, the Minnesota Legislative Auditor found that nearly two-thirds of those deemed too incompetent to stand trial because of mental illness are jailed while courts decide whether to commit them, in direct violation of state law.

While in county jails, mental health care is woefully inadequate and often falls short of professional standards, the auditor found. Jails across the state are often failing to perform mandatory checks of inmates’ well-being, which has put them at greater risk of self-harm and suicide. Since 2000, there have been more than 50 suicides and 770 suicide attempts in Minnesota jails — some preventable, the auditor found.

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