Psychology and Policy in Play

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"It seems to me that we criminalized the mentally ill"- Sheriff Greg Hamilton of Travis County in Austin, Texas

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Earlier last week, All Things Considered reported on how jails now serve as hospitals for people with severe mental illness. It briefly touches on why most state psychiatric hospitals were fazed out in  the 1980s.  Also, the crisis is discussed in how it affects the judicial system in two major cities: Miami and Austin. Lastly, Chris Payne’s book, Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals, is profiled, which is collection of photos taken at abandoned and dilapidated state psychiatric hospitals. Selected photos from the book  can be found on his website.  This is a major issue that is growing rapidly as the development of jails and prisons continues to expand. Yet in  discussions about fixing the U.S. health care system, the lack of mental hospitals is ignored.




Written by G

September 12, 2011 at 4:03 am

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