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Ragan: Iowa prisons are the largest mental health facilities in the state



This news story was published on February 12, 2013.
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Anamosa State Penitentiary

Anamosa State Penitentiary

From Sen. Amanda Ragan –

State correction officials recently shared with the Senate Judiciary Committee that Iowa prisons are the largest mental health facilities in the state. More than 50 percent of Iowa’s inmates suffer from mental illness or substance abuse disorders. In many cases, those health problems contributed to the inmate’s trouble with the law in the first place. With proper mental health and substance abuse treatment, officials say these inmates can become contributing members of society and safely reenter their communities after serving their sentences.

Even more important: effective, accessible mental health services can prevent many people from entering the criminal justice system. That is why improved public safety is one of benefits of Iowa’s ongoing effort to ensure mental health services are available to Iowans in all parts of our state.

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10 Responses to Ragan: Iowa prisons are the largest mental health facilities in the state

  1. Katie Reply Report comment

    February 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    The problem is that family can’t have anyone committed for long-term treatment any more. People can sign themselves out if they aren’t a danger to themselves or anyone else. That needs to change. The mentally ill need to be taken care of before they end up in prison and many times, they use street drugs or alcohol to medicate themselves, which only makes matters worse. People who refuse to stay off hard drugs or alcohol need to be given a hard choice: Stay clean or stay locked up in rehab. Same with mental illness. Stay on your drugs or stay locked up in a hospital. Society needs to quit coddling people who are beyond helping themselves. It will reduce crime, fear, and it just might get some people back to productive lives. Yes, it may be expensive, but we have no choice. Our society is already paying a high price for these drains on our justice system and the crimes they commit against all of us.

    • another brick in the mall Reply Report comment

      February 21, 2013 at 5:28 am

      Like I said. You’re a Communist, probably a Marxist to be sure. What a pant load of BS.

      • Katie Reply Report comment

        February 21, 2013 at 11:24 am

        @ thick as a brick: So what is your solution to society’s problems? Just keep throwing more bricks at it one at a time? I am the farthest thing from a Marxist or a Communist that there is. I am a Capitalist who believes in everyone having a chance at a decent life and getting everyone on the right track with help if they are smart enough to accept it. The permissiveness & coddling in our society has caused a lot of problems that no one is properly addressing. Someone needs to fix it in a BIG way and everyone is afraid to do what is necessary.

      • another brick in the mall Reply Report comment

        February 21, 2013 at 11:44 am

        BS. I’ve read your comments even before posting. You just want to throw everyone in jail who doesn’t think like you. If you can’t check your own hatred, no one else can.

      • Katie Reply Report comment

        February 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm

        Oh, boy. So now you are saying I wrote all the laws and the DSM IV-TR. Sorry, I didn’t and the people who write that stuff are not haters. You are opposed to law and order and think everyone should be able to do whatever he wants. Society needs rules and those who break them need correction and/or help before we deteriorate any farther into total anarchy. I think your brick could use some tuck pointing.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      February 21, 2013 at 8:27 am

      @Katie-very good post with good thoughts on how to correct a real problem. You are not like these idiots who just slam everything they disagree with. You actually have a solution.

  2. another brick in the mall Reply Report comment

    February 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Unbelievable! Here we have the highest incarceration rate in the world bar none all I see is let’s do more of it!

    All this is about—>is hatred. You feel so small in your little lives that it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling to see someone treated worse than you. That’s called hate.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    So where are the stats for re-offenders? Inmates usually get early release anyway so do they have the proper amount of time in rehab and counseling? What a bunch of BS.

  4. Pee Wee Reply Report comment

    February 15, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Okay so our prisons is full of crazys then its time to zap their asses. Who wants there money flush down the toilet not me.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

    So! What is she saying – we have the mental health issue solved in Iowa because their all in prison or maybe if you have a mental health issue you should go to prison ? Knee Jerking !