Jailing the Mentally Ill Jails: America's Mental HospitalsPhoto essayNot Sick Enough: The Insanity DefenseIn Jail or in TreatmentPollResources
  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
1950: 592,853
1970: 432,520
1980: 162,093
1994: 71,619

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"




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