OVERCROWDED PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS FOR PRISONERS
In the US the prison psychiatric hospitals are becoming over crowded with mental illness. About 20% of inmates (approximately 400,000) in jails have been admitted to hospitals. The countries hospitals can only accommodate about 38,000. The corrections system has been so overcrowded that now they are known as “The New Asylums.” Some county’s jails are now housing the mentally ill because the hospitals are not able to admit anymore patients. A survey that was taken in 2004-2005 noted that more than three times the mentally ill prisoners were in the jail instead of the hospitals. Mentally ill inmates remain in prison longer than other inmates because they just don’t understand the prison rules and don’t want to follow them. The cost to incarcerate a mentally ill inmate tends to be higher than a regular inmate ($20,000 regular/$30,000 to $50,000 mentally ill). It costs more to house, staffing, medications, and lawsuits stemming from the treatment of the inmate.