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Our sorry state

Thursday, Apr 26, 2018

* We lock the mentally ill in prisons and then don’t properly care for them. Pantagraph

The constitutional rights of mentally ill inmates have been violated by the Department of Corrections, a federal judge told attorneys Wednesday, citing the state’s failure to comply with an agreement to improve conditions for thousands of prisoners.

In an oral decision delivered during a telephone conference with lawyers for the state and mentally ill inmates, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mihm ruled IDOC violated five major areas of a 2016 settlement agreement reached in a lawsuit filed on behalf of about 11,000 mentally ill inmates.

The judge said a written ruling calling for a preliminary injunction will be filed before a May 22 hearing to consider remedies to the state’s violations. […]

The five areas of deficiency are treatment planning, segregation, crisis care, psychotropic medication and general quality of mental health care.

A court-appointed monitor testified in December that a critical shortage of psychiatrists has created huge backlogs of psychiatric appointments for inmates.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

11 Comments
  1. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    Wouldn’t those 5 areas where the state is deficient basically be all the areas that need to be covered in treatment?
    Or asked another way; in what areas was the state in compliance?


  2. - Amalia - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 1:27 pm:

    we don’t generally provide good care for people with mental health issues big, and small. some have insurance to cover, some do not. but the lack of concern for good care starts with stigma. there’s still reluctance to talk about needing to talk to professionals about mental concerns. confused by parents, divorce, kids issues, disease, assault. if you’ve experienced these issues, and more, and talked to a professional, share that with others. I’ve consulted mental health professionals. erase the stigma for the good of all. then press elected officials to fund for those whose insurance does not cover.


  3. - Earnest - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 1:34 pm:

    I struggle to find, out of the last 15 years, an incidence of the state voluntarily choosing to do more for children served by DCFS, for people with developmental disabilities, or for people with mental illness. Any kind of increase in funding or enhancement for services has come from the courts. We are a sorry state indeed.


  4. - Boone's is Back - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    Tom Dart has said over and over again that the Cook County Jail is the largest caretaker of our mentally ill in the country. It’s sad and I wish more people understood the ramifications to both the mentally ill and our taxpayers.


  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    –U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mihm ruled IDOC violated five major areas of a 2016 settlement agreement reached in a lawsuit filed on behalf of about 11,000 mentally ill inmates.–

    You can’t trust this Rauner crew to keep their word on anything. Not in the Boss’ nature.


  6. - Aldyth - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    There is a nationwide critical shortage of psychiatrists. Rural areas of Illinois have to rely on teleconferencing in order for patients to interact with a psychiatrist at all. Even then, if the psychiatrist leaves, it may be several months before that doctor is replaced.


  7. - don the legend - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    I would bet what little I have that Rauner is totally unaware of this 2016 settlement agreement.

    To WS, but “I’m not in charge” is definitely in the Boss’ nature.


  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    So long as we look upon these illnesses as “mental”, i.e., as separate from illness, we will continue our policies of neglecting them.


  9. - Amalia - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 3:52 pm:

    Aldyth is correct. this is not a field the many docs want to enter. but there is a trend in England to train lots of people to do talk therapy and move away from drugs for those who don’t really need them. that frees up those docs who have to do meds, the psychiatrists, by diverting people who don’t really need meds. mental health services do not necessarily have to be from a psychiatrist. also, with the discovery of tests that show biochemical changes in the blood that affect mental state….some terrific results with juvenile patients in a Northwestern study….there can be more precise analysis and treatment for those who need it.


  10. - Ron - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 6:07 pm:

    Aldyth, most doctors are highly trained people that have high earning potential. There is little to no incentive to live in rural America. This problem will likely grow in the future.


  11. - Anon - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 1:47 am:

    Illinois: where the we love to lock people up and then refuse to pay for it.

    Illinois: where we want public universities, but refuse to pay for them.

    Illinois: where we expect flawless delivery of service but don’t wan’t to pay for it.


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