| The number of mentally
ill people in jails and prisons grew as the number in psychiatric hospitals declined.
The average daily number of patients in U.S. state and county mental hospitals:i
US jail or prison inmates
with a serious mental illness in 1999: 283,000.ii
Women prisoners are more
likely to be mentally ill then male prisoners. 1 in 4 female inmates reports having
a mental illness.iii
White women inmates have
a higher rate of mental illness than any other demographic group. 29% of white
female state prisoners were identified as mentally ill. 20% of black females and
22% of Hispanic females in state prison were mentally ill.i
Mentally ill inmates
are slightly more likely to have committed violent crimes. 53%, compared with
46% of inmates with no identified mental illness.i
20% of inmates with
mental illness were homeless during the year before their incarceration. 12% of
non-mentally ill inmates reported having been homeless.i
More than 75% of mentally
ill inmates had been sentenced to prison, jail or probation at least once prior
to their current sentence. Half reported three or more prior sentences.i
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i"Mental Hospitalization", Kiesler CA, Sibulkin AE; "Resident
Patients in State and County Mental Hospitals", 1994 survey. Center for Mental
Health Services, US Department of Health and Human Services.
ii"Mental Health and treatment
of Inmates and Probationers", Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999.
iiiMental Health and Treatment of Inmates and Probationers"