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senate Bill S. 993

Will More Grant Money Improve Mental Health Screening in the Criminal Justice System?

Argument in favor

Prisons and jails are overcrowded with people who have mental health issues that should be getting treatment elsewhere. Law enforcement and community organizations need additional resources to cope with this problem.

Claus's Opinion
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05/22/2015
Mental health is a growing issue in our communities. Too many times have individuals committed a crime, possibly due to their mental illness, we've thrown them in jail without the necessary resources to treat those illnesses, and eventually we release them from jail. They commit the same crime, due to the same mental illness, thus creating a cycle and a burden on the people. We must acknowledge that certain individuals have no control over their affliction, and instead of just throwing them into a cell, we must provide psychological services to them. Mental illness is perpetual, therefore we need to care for these people.
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John's Opinion
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08/10/2015
Reauthorization is common sense. Just make sure this partisan Attorney General gives the grants to deserving institutions directly tied to the service and not campaign donors.
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Paul's Opinion
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06/28/2015
We have created a new underclass of those who should be institutionalized and we closed the facilities that should be housing them. Violent crime would decrease and sheriffs across the country would thank us.
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Argument opposed

Many criminals with mental health problems pose a threat to public safety — which is why they were arrested in the first place. Communities and law enforcement need help working with these people, but throwing money at the problem isn't the solution.

jrs333's Opinion
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08/11/2015
We should know by now that throwing money at a problem does not solve it.
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Elinor's Opinion
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08/10/2015
And then what? Those deemed mentally ill cannot be forced into a health center against their will. They cannot be forced to take anti-psychotic meds. As long as they are free to roam the streets because they are mentally ill and, therefore, not considered responsible for any of the crimes they commit, all the mental health screening in the world will not protect society from them.
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Lesia's Opinion
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08/12/2015
The criminal justice agencies get money while mental health services keep getting cut. Give money to mental health so the mentally ill have a chance at not being in jail. Jail beds or mental health bed, we're going to pay either way
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    Mental health is a growing issue in our communities. Too many times have individuals committed a crime, possibly due to their mental illness, we've thrown them in jail without the necessary resources to treat those illnesses, and eventually we release them from jail. They commit the same crime, due to the same mental illness, thus creating a cycle and a burden on the people. We must acknowledge that certain individuals have no control over their affliction, and instead of just throwing them into a cell, we must provide psychological services to them. Mental illness is perpetual, therefore we need to care for these people.
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    And then what? Those deemed mentally ill cannot be forced into a health center against their will. They cannot be forced to take anti-psychotic meds. As long as they are free to roam the streets because they are mentally ill and, therefore, not considered responsible for any of the crimes they commit, all the mental health screening in the world will not protect society from them.
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    We should know by now that throwing money at a problem does not solve it.
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    Reauthorization is common sense. Just make sure this partisan Attorney General gives the grants to deserving institutions directly tied to the service and not campaign donors.
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    We have created a new underclass of those who should be institutionalized and we closed the facilities that should be housing them. Violent crime would decrease and sheriffs across the country would thank us.
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    I say yeh and ney because it's just another way of us havein no privacy get more and more in your business but I say yeh because it is a lot of crazy folks there I been there I can tell you first hand but that's another story
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    The criminal justice agencies get money while mental health services keep getting cut. Give money to mental health so the mentally ill have a chance at not being in jail. Jail beds or mental health bed, we're going to pay either way
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    Ronald Reagan demonized the mentally ill. It is time to turn around that horrendous policy!! People need & deserve proper treatment for all illnesses!
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    It is my understanding that mental health screening is very unreliable. Oftentimes healthy individuals are diagnosed with nonexistent mental conditions, and vice versa.
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    If we can find better ways to deal with overcrowded prisons, I'm all for it.
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    I don't care if a criminal is crazy or not, of the criminal is found guilty they belong behind bars. Once the criminal serves the time the criminal can then seek treatment. Insanity is not an acceptable excuse to get out of prison.
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    More drugs in jail then out of jail! Drug dogs should be used in all prisons daily!
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    This is a joke, right? Can anyone think up any ideas that don't just throw money at a problem? How about doing a better job with what they have to work with like the rest of the country?
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    Pre frontal lobotomy would reduce recidivism. Look it up.
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    Money will help, but better structures in place and allowing the mental health personnel more day and sway in cases will help as well. Not to mention, we need to allow medication and emergency aid to be given to a severely mentally ill person BEFORE they reach a crisis point that lands them in jail.
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    I'm tired of hearing everyone that commits a crime just has a mental illness. Mental illness does not make a person commit crimes or become a criminal. I do think the state of mental health in the country needs to be improved but don't think it should be an excuse to get away with crime. Plus this would just divert the over crowding of prisons to overcrowding of hospitals. And government would still be paying either way.
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    This is a huge problem both interms of apprpriate treatment and cultural attitudes. Money that is dispersed for good data based programs will without question help a problem that has ballooned.
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    We have a lack of mental health structure and this would be a step in the right direction. It gives us the opportunity to help our mentally ill get the help they need when they end up in our criminal justice system. There is no reason that we should keep these people from access to treatment while they are serving their time in prison.
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    Individuals with mental health disorders should be treated to health care and not simply put in prisons. The ever-expanding prison industry is a threat to our freedoms, a tremendous burden on taxpayers, and a human rights violation.
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    The wording of this question is asinine. It's asking for speculation, not opinions, and it's designed to manipulate people into asking the wrong question. The question is 'should mentally ill people be treated like criminals and put into federal prisons alongside inmates' and the answer is no. I don't know if putting more money into screenings WILL solve that problem, but that isn't the point. The point is that people who are consciously and deliberately violent towards others will target and abuse anyone who they feel they can exercise power over, and treating mentally ill people like prisoners is setting them up for incredible suffering at the hands of people who are deemed too dangerous to interact with mentally stable people. They are two very opposite groups, and mixing them is barbaric and unjust, so hopefully putting money into these screening will help.
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