Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Today’s quotable
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Today’s quotable

Monday, Sep 28, 2015

* From the SJ-R

“I challenge you to find a more stupid and pig-headed way to deal with the mentally ill.” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart on people with mental illness who end up in local jails because they can’t get proper treatment as a result of state budget cuts.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Honeybear - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:13 am:

    Yep, pretty much says it all.

  2. - Tha missin g - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:15 am:

    You could elect them to office….

  3. - anon - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:17 am:

    So, everything was fine prior to the budget impasse?

  4. - walker - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:18 am:

    In the richest nation in the world.

  5. - Tournaround Agenda - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:18 am:

    @anon, it may not have been “fine,” but I don’t think anyone can argue it’s better now.

  6. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:20 am:

    FEMA camps?

  7. - Guzzlepot - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:20 am:

    @Anon at 9:17a

    Dart has been talking about this for years. And he is right,the system is backwards.

  8. - Apocalypse Now - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:22 am:

    Would be nice for Dart to provide some statistics. Is he talking about a couple, a few, or hundreds? Numbers, please would help to clarify the extent of this issue.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:22 am:


    “It’s baloney”, says Gov. Rauner when asked about Sheriff Dart’s quote. “What the Sheriff fails to fully understand is that Speaker Madigan is willing to put those needing mental health services in a worse place, where they can’t seek treatment because of Speaker Madigan’s own pig-headedness and refusing to dismantle unions and end collective bargaining before I even want to discuss any budget getting passed and signed.”.

    Gov. Rauner ended, “Once Speaker Madigan and the legislators he semi-controls decide the Turnaround Agenda needs to be passed to end my crisis… You know what… all I can say is good luck to Sheriff Dart. It’s not my fault.”


  10. - walker - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:23 am:

    anon: No The spending cuts Dart mentions, have been happening for a few years now. It’s just getting worse every year.

  11. - truecolors - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    Until the media cares, the public won’t either.

  12. - A guy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    It’s really just another version of “kicking the can down the road”. Sad.

  13. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:28 am:

    I’ll take that challenge: How about kicking them out of mental hospitals (in the 1980s), and creating a national homeless problem?

  14. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:28 am:

    In other words, this is insanity….

  15. - walker - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    AN: Just FYI, Cook County Jail is by far the largest houser of the identified mentally ill in the state. That doesn’t even count the regular inmates who are undiagnosed. The number is into the thousands around the state.

    A disgrace by any measure.

  16. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    Vote them into office?

  17. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:43 am:

    ANow is correct, except that all sorts of numbers need to be provided about the Criminal Justice system. how many are in because of a first time drug offense, is one I would like to know. juveniles have “records” of contacts where they are let go for offenses that would be misdemeanors if they were adults. what are those stats like? the system is affected by the emotions of those who are frustrated that an impoverished segment of the community ends up disproportionately incarcerated. historical perspective would be interesting as well. did this disproportionate treatment affect, say, the Irish in the 19th century? poverty is where most crime occurs. numbers illuminate. isn’t Toni responsible for a section of government that purports to give such numbers for the county’s actions now? enlighten us! nationally these numbers come from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and they are a well known balanced source.

  18. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:44 am:

    “A study in 1990 found that 1 in 15 prisoners at Cook County Jail had some form of mental illness. Today, a conservative estimate is 1 in 3.”

    The Atlantic - America’s Largest Mental Hospital Is a Jail

    – MrJM

  19. - Wordslinger - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:47 am:

    Out of sight, out if mind. It’s a return to warehousing,

  20. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:49 am:

    “juveniles have ‘records’ of contacts where they are let go for offenses that would be misdemeanors if they were adults.”

    What is the basis of this claim? Anything? Or is this just another baseless assertion?

    In fact, the converse is true: Juveniles are subject to “status offenses” that wouldn’t even be misdemeanors if done by adults.

    – MrJM

  21. - Anonyshrink - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    Mental health services is an easy area to cut spending without much political backlash. The seriously mentally ill do not have any strong lobby supporting them. Studies for as long as I’ve been alive have shown that decreased mental health services leads to more people in jail, and vice versa. The state is trying to lower the amount of people in mental health treatment without expanding the jails. It can’t be done. From a cost perspective, it is another short sighted move to treat the mentally ill in jail. The treatment is better in a hospital and people get safely into the community sooner, but it’ll cost more in the short term. The politicians (and most voters) care more about cost than ethics when it comes to treatment of the mentally ill. It’ll take more lawsuits to force the state to pay for ethical treatment. It seems to be the new way of crafting a budget.

  22. - Belle - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    Imprisoning the mentally ill began in the late 80’s. There are many articles on the topic as well as a “Frontline” that was originally shown in 2005. Dangerous criminals and people who are ill are not an appropriate mix.
    But, it costs a lot of money to keep the ill permanently housed and under supervision as well as receiving care.

  23. - LizPhairTax - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:00 am:

    Too bad 26th and California is so far from Winnetka. Out of sight out of mind indeed.

  24. - PublicServant - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:00 am:

    ===So, everything was fine prior to the budget impasse?===

    You can’t just cut your way to a solution. There has to be some forethought. That, clearly, has been in short supply.

    It might not have been “fine” before, whatever that means, but it’s certainly “less fine” now, which is what we get when people scream “Change!” without knowing how to implement it. Implementation of ideology is easy. Making it work is not.

  25. - Tha missin g - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:10 am:

    @anon 9:42

    You’d havd to be crazy to think that defunding mental health services in order to further your anti Union agenda was a good idea.
    Sorry. I didn’t know I would have to explain.

  26. - Anon - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    How do other peer cities/counties handle this problem?

    New York? Los Angeles? Houston?

    Is this just a Cook County problem that Cook County has generated?

  27. - Mama - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:43 am:

    Anon it is not just a Cook County problem - - it is a statewide problem.

    How does other Midwestern states handle the mentally ill?

  28. - Mama - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:46 am:

    Who oversees the Mental Health Program(s) in Illinois?

  29. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:56 am:


    DHS- but many of these Providers have been or will be “de-funded” because of the impasse and Turnaround demands.

  30. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    Mama: Many states have closed their state operated large MH hospitals. In theory, a MH safety net can be provided at the local level.

    For too long, Illinois has closed large state-operated MH hospitals with the promise those services would be provided in the community but when the budget axe starts to swing, those community services are often the first to be cut.

    Right now, Pscy. Leadership Grants are unfunded and those are how local MH providers pay their doctors. You cannot have community level MH system without Docs.

    Either by design or accident, Illinois is making the choice to have the mentally ill treated in local jails or DOC.

  31. - Politix - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    @amalia: “ANow is correct, except that all sorts of numbers need to be provided about the Criminal Justice system. how many are in because of a first time drug offense,”

    These data are readily available and widely used by reformers-Tom Dart, Toni Preckwinkle and others in the criminal justice community-calling for treatment options vs incarceration for mentally ill and drug-addicted non-violent offenders.

  32. - Demoralized - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    == Is he talking about a couple, a few, or hundreds?==

    It doesn’t matter if it’s 1 or 100. That’s not the point. The point is that jails shouldn’t be used to house the mentally ill and you create that problem when they can’t get the treatment they need. It’s not always a game of numbers. Sometimes 1 is enough.

  33. - A guy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    Adding to Demo’s comment…

    Not to mention that mixing this population with others in the jail is not a healthy experiment either; for the mentally ill or the others.

  34. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:08 pm:

    Amalia, most of your questions seem pretty irrelevant. Why does it matter if someone is a first-time drug offender? What do you think that would tell you?

    If you’re interested in history, I’d start with reading this very slowly and carefully (or, preferably, the much longer article it references).

    It’s much more germane than being Irish.

  35. - Bluegrass Boy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:55 pm:

    “How does other Midwestern states handle the mentally ill?”

    By buying ‘em a bus ticket to Chicago apparently.

    I’m generally a libertarian small-govt kind of guy but I have to say I find it repugnant that our society has abdicated its primary responsibilities which I would define as Roads, Bridges, Public Schools, and the care for our disabled and ill.

    I was sickened by Quinn’s effort to move folks into “group homes” not because I cared a whit about saving government jobs but because medically, most of these folks require more and better care than a group home can possibly provide.

    Now it’s effectively continued under Rauner who refuses to work with Madigan to provide funding so that caregivers and organizations can provide services to the least among us.

    We often say elections have consequences. Obviously true. But so do the personal decisions our leaders make - at least for them. I think those who make decisions like this are going to pay for it in this life and the next. Wouldn’t want to be in their shoes….

    (off soapbox)

  36. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:31 pm:

    @MisterJayEm, station adjustments are incidents that could proceed, but do not. I don’t know the stats now, but some years ago the number of station adjustments before the first time in court for the average juvenile was pretty high, as in nearing 10.

    as for tanehisi coates, he brushes off the immigrant experience. ask my mother who did not speak english until school how that works. I believe he also doesn’t mention the people who have it the worst in the U.S., Native Americans. You want to talk Federal policy that affects people’s lives, check that out, the incidents of sexual assault are stunning.

    @crazybleedingheart, the issue of how many people are in for first time offenses is a question when considering who is in for a drug offense. the portrayal of jails and prisons as filled with people nabbed for a joint is simply not accurate. first time offenders most often get a pass.

    as for whether County officials actually look at the numbers, Toni Preckwinkle is deeply concerned about the numbers in custody as reflecting the African American community. I wonder why she does not give as much attention to the number of victims in that community. they deserve as much a voice.

  37. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    Amalia, I’m not going to try to untangle that mess of mistake, baseless assertion, and irrelevant info to try to extract some sort of point. For the sake of the peanut gallery, I’ll just add that I hope Anita rewards you for your unflagging support.

  38. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:03 pm:

    @crazybleedingheart, I have no involvement with Anita. but thanks for playing for Toni.

  39. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:35 pm:

    @crazybleedingheart in explaining how incidents occur, since you invoked Coates, perhaps you’d like give a take on his comments on the 9/11 first responders. you can read Rich Lowry’s take contained here…..

  40. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 5:29 pm:

    Amalia, I’m not going to try to untangle that mess of mistake, baseless assertion, and irrelevant info to try to extract some sort of point.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune asked 16 mayoral candidates to release tax returns, 6 complied
* A rough idea of what they're looking at
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rauner was wrong about "record levels" of unionization
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
* Pritzker's inauguration ball tix will benefit Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation
* Rauner claims he's been too busy to reflect on his term
* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...






Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller