Study: One in Five Inmates are Seriously Mentally Ill

A new study shows Hundreds of Thousands of Inmates Mentally Ill prisoners in the U.S. One in five of the 2.1 million people in America's jails and prisons are seriously mentally ill.

The study, by Human Rights Watch, concludes that jails and prisons have become the nation's default mental health system, as more state hospitals have closed and as the country's prison system has quadrupled over the past 30 years. There are now fewer than 80,000 people in mental hospitals, and the number is continuing to fall.

There are many more mentally ill female than male prisoners.

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