Where We Live: Mentally Ill Inundate State Prisons

Rehab and Treatment Alternatives for Mentally Ill Inmates

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Mike Lawlor
Photo:Chion Wolf
Michael Norko
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Kenneth Edwards Jr.
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Lisa Chedekel
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Where We Live: Mentally Ill Inmates Inundate Prisons
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Where We Live: Mentally Ill Inmates Inundate Prisons

About one in five prisoners in Connecticut is receiving mental health treatment 

According to the 2010 recidivism report recently released by the state, inmates with mental health problems are significantly more likely to end up back in jail once they get out.

The statistics reveal a flawed system of treatment and rehabilitation for the mentally ill in the state’s justice system - but it’s not confined to Connecticut.  

Since the 1960s, when many large mental health hospitals were closed, the  community mental health systems which were supposed to take their place never really happened.    
By default, prisons have become the greatest providers of treatment for the mentally ill in the country.  

Today, where we live, we’ll talk with Michael Lawlor, Governor Dannel Malloy’s new chief of criminal justice planning and policy.  He’s looking for more effective treatment and alternatives.  

We’ll also talk with experts in treating and dealing with mentally ill prisoners.  



People who may not receive the treatment they need

I have worked for non-profits my professional career and started with the state 5 years ago. No matter where I have worked I have given the people in the program and their families 100+10% of myself. The math is very simple: if the people we work with do not get the treatment, community support and medication administration they need, many of them will wind up incarcerated. A shame is putting it mildly. I have worked in employment services for over 25 years, assisting people in obtaining employment and changing their lives. This is a major part of recovery. If River Valley Services closes, there will be approximately 500 people who will not receive the services they need. I wish people would understand this. How would you feel if it was you or a family member?

this seems to be a topic that

this seems to be a topic that is of big interest and is something that really should be talked about to full extent, because there are many people who have a fear or have a negitive mind setabout the mentally ill. I think there should be a part 2 to this airing! This will help people really understand. My dad is in the system and he works so hard on many problems, people should know everything he does for the hospitals and the state so they know what is being done!