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Mental Health in the Prison System

Besides an insane asylum prison is the place where you can find a high concentration of mentally ill people. Prison’s are commonly known as “the new asylums” LA county jail, Chicago Cook’s County Jail, and New York’s Riker’s Island Jail – are among some of the jails that hold the most mentally ill inmates than any of the remaining functioning psychiatric hospitals in the US. 


  • 20% of inmates in jails are mentally ill 
  • 15% of inmates in state prisons are est. to have serious mental illnesses. 

An est. 383,000 individuals with severe psychiatric diseases were or are behind bars in the US as of 2014 – nearly 10x the number of patient remaining in psych hospitals. There is a problem with the data compiled – because of the nature of schizophrenia they are not inclined to willingly participate in studies. Therefore the statistics should be higher than what they reflect. 

For more information, check out this website: 

  • About 2 million times each year, people with serious mental illness are booked into jails 
  • About 2 in 5 ppl who are incarcerated have a history of mental illness (About 37% in state and federal prisons and 44% held in local jails)
  • 66% of women in prison reported having a history of mental illness, almost twice the percentage of men in prison.
  • Nearly one in four ppl shot and killed by police officers between

For more information about the services or any questions or concerns you may have please check out the rest of our blog Embracia Health Clinic.

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