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Mental Illness and Criminal Justice

Late in the 20th century, deinstitutionalization put most people with mental illness out of large institutions and into the community. There they were supposed to receive care that was less restrictive, more humane and more effective. This worked for some, but others became trapped in a never-ending cycle of mental institutions, homelessness, and/or jail.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel featured a four-part series that examines the scope of the problem faced by the criminal justice and mental health systems and proposes ways to stop the turning of this costly and harmful revolving door.

To read the entire four-part series, check out the Sun-Sentinel.

This is not the first time the paper has succeeded in accurate coverage of mental health issues. In 2003, the Sun-Sentinel won a NAMI Media Award for Newspaper Feature Reporting. The award was presented in Minneapolis at NAMI’s annual convention. The award-winning piece detailed Florida’s first mental health court and was entitled, "Justice That Works," by Jenni Bergal.

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