Monday, August 29, 2005

Locking up the Sick

From the Colorado Springs online: "Colorado's prisons and jails have become the front line in the state's battle against mental illness.

The number of beds has dropped at the two state mental hospitals. The Colorado Department of Corrections reports an increase in inmates diagnosed with serious mental illness. In 2004, Corrections cut funding for mental-health treatment.

Nearly one in four inmates at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center probably doesn't belong there, Sheriff Terry Maketa says.

Those inmates are among Colorado's growing number of untreated mentally ill who have slipped through the cracks of a public mental-health system ravaged by budget cuts."