If mental illness were treated like cancer we would not be jailing the sick.


Depending upon which study, there is a shameful amount of mentally ill and addicted Americans in jails and prisons. A lot of the problems with police is regarding mentally ill people. At some point, perhaps we can recognize that mental illness can be as debilitating and deadly as any other serious disease. Until then, it is “lock ‘em up and forget ‘em”.

3 thoughts on “If mental illness were treated like cancer we would not be jailing the sick.

  1. This is yet another problem resulting from good intentions without considering the consequences/

    We used to keep insane people in institutions. But with the development of drugs that allowed schizophrenics and other seriously ill people to function, advocates for the mentally ill pressed a series of lawsuits that raised the bar for involuntary commitment.


    People who could function IF THEY TOOK THEIR MEDICINE could not be kept in institutions involuntarily. For those with family who were willing and able to care for them, that worked, but most simply did not take their medications once released.

    So, we have a lot of people who should be in institutions on the streets, unmedicated, and unable to function in society. They can’t be hospitalized against their will, they like being on the streets and free to pursue their addictions, and they are very hard to live with.

    But their rights to be crazy on your front lawn have been protected.


    1. I don’t disagree that wholesale emptying of mental hospitals created some issues.

      But don’t forget why we did that. The hospitals were hell holes. Some were institutionalized in perpetuity. But importantly, they were warehoused out of sight, out of mind.

      We just never treated mental illness as a disease, but rather a moral failing. Even today there are churches that decry mental healthcare as unnecessary. Prayer will do better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. From the source: “Admissions under temporary detention orders have increased by almost 400% at state mental hospitals since 2013.”

    This suggests that efforts to care for the mentally ill have been more successful than otherwise. The temporary admissions freeze suggests the system cannot meet increasing demand with its current resources.

    If the condition persists, I’d be in favor of spending more money to add resources.


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