By some accounts, nearly half of America’s incarcerated population is mentally ill — and journalist Alisa Roth argues that most aren’t getting the treatment they need.
Roth has visited jails in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta and a rural women’s prison in Oklahoma to assess the condition of mentally ill prisoners. She says correctional officers are on the “front lines” of mental health treatment — despite the fact that they lack clinical training.
“Most of [the correctional officers] will talk about how this is not what they signed up,” Roth says. “Most of them have not had much training in dealing with mental illness — or they’ve had none at all.” more