The Criminalization of Mental Illness

Use the above link to access the Infographic I created on the criminalization of mental illness. We have taken steps back as a society, locking up individuals who need help simply because we either do not understand how to help them or there is lack of funding for the aid. Our jails and prisons have become modern day asylums, a holding cell for individuals with mental illness where they decompensate at significant rates under the guise of rehabilitation. The lack of community resources, funding, and accessible treatment has been a disservice that has gone on far too long. Steven Liefman, a Miami Judge, stated, ‘We have failed people with mental illness miserably. We have seen homelessness increase, seen shootings of people with mental illness increase, wasted critical tax dollars and have made mental illness a crime in this country.. This is a shameful American tragedy and it is one that must be reversed’ (2019). These powerful words hold the conviction that change is essential. Individuals with mental illness comprise a vulnerable population that should be protected, not shamed and punished.

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