After reading through news stories I saw an appalling story – the largest in patient mental health treatment facility in the state of Illinois is now the Cook County Jail of Chicago, IL. Sheriff Tom Dart has had enough is threatening to file a law suit against the state of Illinois for allowing this to happen. The state has room for 1,449 people in state owned psychiatric hospitals according to ABC7 in Chicago. The jails now have beds for 6,536 people with mental health issues.
My guess is its much more expensive to continue to house people in jails rather then get them the help they need. I don’t have a number on this, but I’m sure if these people were to be able to get proper treatment most of there care would be out patient, and not as high as a burden on the tax payer.
Another example of government cutting money to save it short term – but costing significantly more in the long term.