Mental Illiness & prison overcrowding: the two do not mix well…

Posted: October 22, 2011 by pillowfiends in IDOC, IL in Fiscal Ruins, Local Issues, Terrible Wrongs - Other Cases, The Causes of Wrongful Convictions

All of us know someone who is mentally ill in some way or another. Fact is, most of our own personality “quirks” contain some echo of behavior which is a symptom of mental illness. When it is our behavior, our “quirks” we manage to rationalize and excuse it. When we are accosted on the street by someone exhibiting a more extreme form of the same behavior, we are offended and unsympathetic. What we fail to realize is just how many people need some type of help in order to function “normally”.  Instead, we find it easy to criminalize what we do not want to understand or acknowledge. We wrongly believe that the majority of the mentally ill are violent towards others. Few of us take the time or effort to get to know or understand the mentally ill and mental illness. Some very “intelligent” and respected individuals in the Rockford community, for example, who have their own “quirks”and are capable of exercising more control over them, persistently and eagerly demonize and condemn individuals for the legal situations they often land in as a result of mental illness. It is too bad they are too quick to feel morally justified without having taken the time to ascertain what other individuals have to cope with from the outset of their lives. The article below gives some idea of the problem we have created in state prisons because we are deliberately blind to the welfare of others:

Mental Illness in the Prison System

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