A national coalition today asked the new Congress and President-elect to support a “comprehensive” plan for helping justice-involved individuals suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. The proposal included federal aid for training cops and corrections officers, and continued Medicaid coverage after release from prison.
The suspect, 30, described as emotionally disturbed, is accused of pushing a woman in front of a subway train. A similar incident in 1999 led to a law that gives families the right to demand court-ordered outpatient psychiatric treatment for their ill relatives.
An Australian study says “trauma-stricken” individuals cause stress among the health professionals and lawyers who work with them, including those who work with justice-involved populations–indirectly affecting their ability to perform their jobs.
Many officers have been trained in de-escalating encounters with people suffering mental problems, but “far too often, people in crisis end up being Tasered, beaten, arrested, and even shot,” says Laura Usher of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Higher level of care for mentally ill inmates is ordered by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Mentally ill inmates will leave for a prison for a different facility that “will look and feel more like a psychiatric hospital.”