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Jailing the Mentally Ill

By Stephen Smith

In 1880, the United States Census said 99% of the nation's 'insane persons' lived at home or in asylums. Only a few hundred were in jail. In 1999, the United States Justice Department stated that 280,000 people with serious mental illnesses were in jail or prison--more than four times the number in state mental hospitals. Have America's jails become today's mental hospitals?

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Copyright 2000. Used with permission from American RadioWorks and NPR.

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