Wisconsin has a problem on its hands and it is not being dealt with in the right manner. The problem keeps getting bigger and bigger everyday. Instead of giving treatment to the mentally ill, hospital facilities have pushed thousands of mentally ill people on to the street. The idea behind this is to give those with mental illness, a freedom that has been taken from them since they were institutionalized. This plan has a lot of great qualities that would help a lot of people. But there are some serious repercussions because of it.
The problem is simple; the law that released thousands of mentally ill people is too vague. The law should have put the individual hospital in charge of stating who is safe to live in the general public, and who is not yet ready. The term mental illness stands for a vast variety of illnesses. This could be anything from chronic depression, schizophrenia, or even posttraumatic stress; the list goes on and on. Some disorders cause people to have unexpected mood swings. Collins a Lt on the police force said We dont know what they will do from one minute to the next(14a)
This causes a cycle to start forming in which the individual(s) goes in and out of prisons. Like it did to Karen Grayson who is expects to get out sometime this month. She blames her crimes on her disease along with two psychiatrists, a judge, and three psychologists. Collins states We take them out to the county health complex to get them some help, only to be turned away. They say theyve got no room. Often, we have no choice but to arrest them(14a). This only makes the situation that much worse. Karen sits there, growing sicker and sicker(Gene Braaksma 14a)
Now theyre stuck in a place that not only makes their disease worse but also doesnt have the right facilities or staff to help control the illness. The 42% of mentally ill prisoners held in Wisconsins maximum-security prisons receive limited care for their dieses. One of the worst things you can do for a mentally ill person is take them out of society. This will only cause the illness to worsen at a quicker pace. Chances are if you stick a mentally ill person in todays prison they will spend less time interacting with others and more time by themselves. Statistics will show that this cycle keeps growing and growing.
This is a huge factor of overpopulation in prisons. Politicians had the right idea but jumped to quickly on the matter, rather then thinking through all the repercussions. Many of the patents released are doing well I would think, enjoying their new freedoms. I think the law should have taken into consideration each disease and its affect on the individual. What I mean by this is, two individual can react differently to the same disease. This is depending on the strength of the disease, the individuals background, and if the individual has any other mental illnesses.