Many people who suffer with a serious mental illness end up in the criminal justice system.
PBS has put together some revealing documentaries on this very issue. These videos can be viewed if you have a high speed internet connection.
The New Assylums: Fewer than 55,000 Americans currently receive treatment in psychiatric hospitals. Meanwhile, almost 10 times that number -- nearly 500,000 -- mentally ill men and women are serving time in U.S.jails and prisons. As sheriffs and prison wardens become the unexpected and often ill-equipped caretakers of this burgeoning population, they raise a troubling new concern: Have America's jails and prisons become its new asylums?
The Released: FRONTLINE filmmakers return to Ohioto tell the next chapter in this disturbing story: what happens to mentally ill offenders when they leave prison. The Released is an intimate look at the lives of the seriously mentally ill as they struggle to remain free.
Burden of Innocence: Prison life leads to many challenges when inmates return to the free world. This FRONTLINE video covers a few exonerated prisoners. When you see their ongoing difficulties, you can imagine how criminalizing people with mental illness adds untold burdens to their lives. One of the exonerated is mentally ill.
The Cold Hard Facts About Incarceration: Our nation has less than 5% of the world's population, but we have more than 25% of the world's prisoners. 3.2% of all American adults are involved in our criminal justice system today. This site lays out the simple and shocking facts of it all.
Frontline: The New Asylums
Frontline: The Released
Frontline: Burden of Innocence
The Cold Hard Facts About Incarceration