Eideard

Ohio sued for dumping mentally ill inmates onto the street

with 4 comments

Mentally ill prisoners in Ohio are more likely to get into trouble and end up back in prison after they are released because state officials turn them loose without the follow-up care they need.

A lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, asked a judge to order the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Ohio Department of Mental Health to provide the care necessary to help keep mentally ill offenders from returning to prison.

Advocates for prisoners and the mentally ill said they are suing to help not only the released prisoners, but also the taxpayers who must pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to keep them locked up when they commit new crimes and are sent back to prison.

They say the cost of providing treatment to a mentally ill person in the community is about $7,400 a year, compared to the $25,000 a year it costs to incarcerate them.

But instead of treatment, the lawsuit claims, ex-convicts with mental problems get $65 to $75, a bus ticket and two weeks of medication upon their release. The suit said many of those former inmates soon move into homeless shelters or drug-infested neighborhoods, where their mental health quickly deteriorates.

Dumping prisoners with mental illness at homeless shelters creates a revolving door phenomenon,” said Bess Okum, staff attorney with the Cincinnati-based Ohio Justice and Policy Center, which filed the suit on behalf of nine current and former prisoners. “Many of these former prisoners commit new crimes because of their untreated mental illness.”

Like the great state of Ohio gives a damn about civil rights or how they waste taxpayers’ money.

When it comes to wasting taxpayer dollars on warehousing the criminally insane, you can count on most American politicians – in their pinheaded intellects – to choose the opportunism of being “tough on crime” because it guarantees more votes than sorting the mentally ill and saving money.

And our favorite ignorant electorate will march in lockstep down that always-safe middle of the road.

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Written by Ed Campbell

February 14, 2010 at 9:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. The globe is tiring of humanity and what they are doing to each other and the globe it’s self. No doubt the absolute will come up with a solution to all this corruption. It has given mankind plenty of time to sort out it’s differences and still they cannot or will not find the right formula. Methinks greed and deception is the human authorities formula, just to keep the minority happy, the majority do not matter.

    zorki

    February 15, 2010 at 1:00 am

  2. We’re governed by fools whose knowledge of science and medicine is roughly up to Monty Python. And not as humorous.

    moss

    February 15, 2010 at 8:01 am

  3. Oh, this is so awful and sad…
    I have to say that our state is good about residential services for the mentally ill, depending on IF they want to stay. you are right that it is a function of the willingness of the government to pay…

    Lindsey Petersen
    http://5kidswdisabilities.wordpress.com

    5kidswdisabilities

    March 14, 2010 at 8:09 am

  4. [...] A lawsuit is currently pending in the State of Ohio, charging the State with dumping mentally ill inmates out on the street without providing necessary follow-up care. [...]


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