A new study of women in the McLean County, Ill., jail shows most female inmates arrive with mental health issues and a history of abuse that derails their lives and disrupts their connection to their children, reports the Bloomington Pantagraph. The report by Dawn Beichner, an Illinois State University criminal justice professor, is based on a review of records of 278 female inmates, 20 of whom sat for interviews with the researchers.
Fifty-two percent of the women housed at the jail reported a mental health diagnosis, often linked to past trauma. About two-thirds of the women said they had received no mental health care prior to coming to the jail, where they have access to counseling and medication. Researchers found widespread issues with addiction, as well.