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Policy Brief on Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System

December 18, 2017


Significant numbers of inmates have mental illness and/or substance use disorders, with approximately 60-80% of inmates with substance use problems and 10-20% with serious mental illness. There is also substantial overlap between the two populations. This striking reality calls for increased attention to the intersection between mental health and the criminal justice system (a) prior to, (b) during, and (c) after incarceration with an aim to end the criminalization of mental health challenges.

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