The Mental Health Association of Colorado helps people with mental illness.
Mental Health, Mental Illness, Prisons and Community Health
Theme: Community Health
Air Date: 6/10/05
Producer: Liz Lane
Description: Host Liz Lane discusses how cutbacks in mental health care lead to more dollars spent on mentally ill people in prisons . . . and what to do about this.
There have been many cutbacks in treatment programs for the mentally ill, and coincidentally, huge increases in the money spent on prisons. To many experts, this is predictable--prisons are housing many people who need assistance with mental illness. In this call-in show, host Liz Lane talks about community programs for Mental Health with experts on who want fewer people with mental illnesses in jail and more in programs to assist with mental health. Mary Beth Pfeiffer is a Justice Fellow with the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation Network, Jean Rower is the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Colorado and former Boulder County Sheriff George Epp is active in an innovative program to The Partnership for Active Community Engagement (PACE). PACE is a program to address the increasing numbers of mentally ill offenders who cycle through Boulder (Colo.) jails. The program involves a multi-disciplinary team of criminal justice, mental health, and substance abuse providers who ensure that participants in the program receive the treatment they need during and after serving time in jail. The program has been credited with saving the jail system $615,492 between 2000 and 2003 and has reduced recidivism rates, while increasing employment rates among clients.
Groups Featured in this report include:
Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation Network, 1-212-548-0600, www.soros.org
Mental Health Association of Colorado, 303.377.3040, www.mhacolorado.org
PACE Partnership for Active Community Engagement, http://www.consensusproject.org/programs/one?program_id=237