Why does it matter?
More than half of all jail and prison inmates have a recent history or symptoms of a mental health problem. An estimated 31 percent of women and 14.5 percent of men in jails have a serious mental illness. Seventy percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have a mental health condition. Most people leave the system worse off and with fewer options for getting needed treatment and services. Learn more
Most people with mental illness involved in the justice system are not violent criminals. NAMI works to reduce criminalization of people with mental illness by promoting local programs that divert people from the justice system and into treatment, and by advocating with state and federal policy makers to improve access to treatment and services that can prevent involvement with the justice system. We also work to counteract the often horrific conditions faced by people with mental illnesses in jails and prisons.We are honored to partner with mental health provider agencies, corrections systems, law enforcement, courts and other leaders who understand that people need treatment, not jail.
NAMI Releases Guide to Help Re-entering Prisoners Succeed
Returning to the community after prison is especially challenging for people living with mental illness. Our new re-entry guide walks you through getting health care, ID, housing, benefits and other necessities to help you succeed. More...
Getting Health Coverage in the Justice System
Every year, almost 12 million Americans are caught up in the criminal justice system. The new health law can help many of them get the health coverage needed to stay well and get out of the justice system. More…
NAMI Perspectives on the Justice System
Learn about the perspectives of individuals involved in the justice system, their family members and the criminal justice professionals that partner with NAMI.
Working with Your Probation or Parole Officer
People living with mental illness can struggle with the conditions of probation and parole. Fortunately, specialized probation officers like Eilene Flory can help individuals succeed. More...
NAMI Utah's Advocacy in Mental Health Courts
Jackie Rendo works for NAMI Utah, but as the liaison to three mental health courts, she spends many of her days out of the office and in court. More...
Law Enforcement in Small and Rural Communities
On TV, huge teams of police officers race to a crime scene. The truth is, most police serve small towns and are working with limited resources. These agencies need NAMI more than ever! More...
More NAMI Perspectives on the Justice System>>
If you or a loved one has been arrested, NAMI can help you find a lawyer. Check out our resources for families navigating the justice system!
Learn more about how NAMI works with law enforcement and mental health providers to improve crisis response.
To find out NAMI's position on the issues, check out our Public Policy Platform (sections 9 and 10).