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homeless

Homeless, Mentally Ill and Addicted: The Downward Spiral

An outbreak of hepatitis A in a number of states highlights the vulnerability of individuals suffering from both mental illness and substance abuse. Those most at risk —the homeless and formerly incarcerated—deserve “compassionate, evidence-based solutions,” says a TCR columnist.

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Arizona prisons

Arizona Prisons Grapple with Upsurge in Inmate ‘Self-Harm’

More than 80 inmates tried to hang themselves so far this year, and 138 attempted drug overdoses, at a time when the Arizona Department of Corrections is under fire over allegedly inadequate health care. The state still has no mental health director, according to a report by the Phoenix public radio station.

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twinkies

Understanding the So-Called ‘Twinkie’ Defense

The term has been used as media shorthand for any defense in which the accused blames the consumption or use of some substance for his or her actions. It’s long past time to replace it with a more nuanced description, writes a former New York prosecutor.

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Rikers Island

How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill

A new book argues that mental health authorities’ failure to address the public safety challenge posed by individuals with serious mental illness unfairly shifts the burden to police and the courts. DJ Jaffe, the author, explains why in a conversation with The Crime Report.

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Cops and the Mentally Ill: Finding a New Approach

Police around the country are learning how to step back from confrontations that can lead to tragedy. But additional reforms are needed to help divert individuals with serious and untreated mental illness from the justice system.

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MO Settlement Called Powerful Message to Gun Sellers

Missouri gun store paid woman $2.2 million for selling her mentally ill daughter a gun that was used to kill her father, despite being warned it could happen. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says there are at least 10 similar civil cases pending, including in Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas.

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Want a Career in Criminal Justice? Study Mental Illness

Students training for criminal justice careers in the U.S. are given little academic preparation that would help them deal with the mental illness of justice-involved populations. A recent study says it’s a serious oversight–and needs to be corrected by universities.