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In American Jails Magazine - Help More, Judge Less

You see a sex worker who overdosed, bright purple bruises on her face, track marks down her arm, we see a 4-year-old little girl who was sexually abused by her older cousin until she was 14 years old, whose mother regularly beat her and whose father was in jail most of her life. You see a gang member with distribution charges and tattoos covering most of his body, we see a little boy whose parents were 15 and 16 years old when they had him and who was raised in the streets. He watched his father deal drugs and the one thing he said to himself is, “I will never be like my daddy”. You see addicts and criminals and we see people with trauma who the system failed to help long before they got to jail or prison.
America’s Mental Health Crisis
To say we have a mental health crisis in this country is an understatement. Suicide, overdoses, school shootings, mass shootings, relapses, and crime. Unfortunately, it is every week. It takes a lot to catch our attention because it’s just too much. We are numb and the systems and people who are charged with managing all of it are stretched thin, understaffed, and ill-prepared for what we are facing. Provisional data from the CDC for 2023 shows we are losing 304 people to overdose and 136 to suicide every day. If 440 chipmunks died every day in this country people would be picketing in front of the White House and raising hell. People dying as a result of the mental health crisis is the ‘new normal’. We are numb and the infrastructures designed to treat the problems are overwhelmed and failing us. Read more.


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