Together, we do the community justice.
       
 
Loading

ABLE:
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality on Facebook Advocates for Basic Legal Equality on Twitter Advocates for Basic Legal Equality on LinkedIn

LAWO:
LAWO on Facebook LAWO on Twitter LAWO on LinkedIn


Group Sues Over Care Of Mentally Ill Inmates


FEBRUARY 12, 2010

Group Sues Over Care Of Mentally Ill Inmates

The following appeared on NBC5, WLWT in Cincinnati. To view the video for this story visit the WLWT Web site.

ImageA Tri-State group is suing the state of Ohio, claiming mentally ill prison inmates are neglected by the system and are being released into the community without the help they need.

The Ohio Justice and Policy Center in Cincinnati estimates there could be thousands of mentally ill former inmates walking the streets right now and they could be a threat to themselves and others.

A lawsuit filed by the group alleges that some of the most mentally ill people living on the streets were left there by the Ohio Department of Corrections. The lawsuit claims ex-convicts with mental problems get $65 to $75, a bus ticket and two weeks of medication upon their release.

FEBRUARY 12, 2010

Group Sues Over Care Of Mentally Ill Inmates

The following appeared on NBC5, WLWT in Cincinnati. To view the video for this story visit the WLWT Web site.

A Tri-State group is suing the state of Ohio, claiming mentally ill prison inmates are neglected by the system and are being released into the community without the help they need.

The Ohio Justice and Policy Center in Cincinnati estimates there could be thousands of mentally ill former inmates walking the streets right now and they could be a threat to themselves and others.

A lawsuit filed by the group alleges that some of the most mentally ill people living on the streets were left there by the Ohio Department of Corrections. The lawsuit claims ex-convicts with mental problems get $65 to $75, a bus ticket and two weeks of medication upon their release.

"These are very very ill people," said Bess Okum, an attorney for the center. "They need to be stabilized and connected to the services that can help them."

Okum said instead, corrections officers often just drive mentally ill inmates straight to places like the Drop Inn homeless shelter in downtown Cincinnati. There, they are left to fend for themselves without the medical contacts or a mental health aftercare plan required by law.

"They tend to come back in touch with the criminal justice system at an exponentially higher rate than the general prison population returning to Ohio's communities, making this a very significant public safety issue," Okum said.

The attorneys suing the state claim 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.

The state will not comment on the pending litigation, which does not seek money, only that the judge change the system.