* We can expect more of this as long as our mental health care delivery system is so inadequate in this state…
The cost of treating mentally ill prison inmates in Illinois is on the rise.
According to state purchasing documents and Illinois Department of Corrections projections, taxpayers will be billed more than $17.8 million in the coming year to convert existing prison space into facilities for examining, treating and housing seriously mentally ill prisoners.
That amount likely will rise with the anticipated hiring of what could be scores of additional workers to assist in the treatment of the inmates.
The increasing costs are an outgrowth of lawsuits filed against the department alleging inmates are not being properly treated for mental health issues, and against the backdrop of an under-manned agency that is housing 48,700 inmates in space built for 32,100.