Are your officers trained to work with your mentally ill population?
After the Reagan administration ended financial support for the Nations' mentally ill population, many of those who received those services, ended up in jails and prison all over the country. Mentally ill consumers in jails and prisons are a highly vulnerable group of people and are often not afforded the comprehensive services that they should ordinarily be given. Based on a comprehensive analysis provided by the prison policy initiative, here is what we know:
Percent of people in state and federal prisons who have been diagnosed with a mental illness: 37% +
In locally-run jails: 44% +
Number of people experiencing "serious psychological distress" in jails: 1 in 4 +
Percent of people in federal prisons who reported not receiving any mental health care while incarcerated: 66% +
Percent of police shootings in 2015 that involved a mental health crisis: 27% +
Portion of people jailed 3+ times within a year who report having a moderate or serious mental illness: 27% +
Lasting effects of incarceration: post-traumatic stress, anxiety, impaired decision-making, and more + For the past 30 years, mental health has been a long standing fixture in corrections in this country. (prisonpolicy.org, 2021)
Jamal Sutherland was only 31 years old when he arrived the Al Cannon Detention Center in Charleston, S.C., in January of 2021. Because the officers who intercepted him did not know how to deal with mentally ill inmates they are facing charges related to his death after his cause of death was classified as a homicide. At Correct Consultants, we can create and implement a comprehensive mental health de-escalation training plan for your facility. We work with licensed and trained mental health professionals who are experts in the field of corrections and mental health, and who can devise programs to fit your individual facility which are also in compliance with the national standards of correctional healthcare under the NCCHC and ACA. Call us today for a free consultation. Salute to Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, who immediately recognized the need to re-open this case to determine the true underlying reason for Sutherland's death.