A new study (22 page pdf) by he Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs' Association finds that Americans with severe mental illnesses are three times more likely to be in jail or prison than in a psychiatric hospital. The director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, a nonprofit dedicated to removing barriers to timely and effective treatment of severe mental illnesses, says that "America’s jails and prisons have once again become our mental hospitals. With minimal exception, incarceration has replaced hospitalization for thousands of individuals in every single state.”
According to the report, it is now extremely difficult to find a bed for a seriously mentally ill person who needs to be hospitalized. In 1955 there was one psychiatric bed for every 300 Americans. In 2005 there was one psychiatric bed for every 3,000 Americans.
The report includes statistics for each state.
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