July 01, 2004

New 'Repeat Offender' Bill Will Help Convicts Rehabilitate

In an effort to address the revolving-door phenomenon of American prisons - convicts who return to prison for repeated offenses shortly after being released - Congress is considering legislation that will aid both mentally ill and other prisoners to rejoin society.

The Second Chance Act (backed by Rep. Rob Portman of Ohio and Rep. Danny Davis of Illiniois) calls for $112 million over two years to create drug treatment and mentoring programs for newly released felons. According to the New York Times Editorial article ("The Price of Prisons", June 26 2004), such an investment is well worth the potential savings if the bill helps to reduce repeat offenders. Current operating costs for overcrowded state prisons is estimated at $30 billion a year.

Related legislation currently in the House is aimed specifically at mentally ill offenders. Recent studies estimate that about one in six convicts are suffering from mental illness, a staggering statistic that highlights the current role of state and federal prisons as default "mental institutions." The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (passed by the Senate in 2003) asks for a $100 million investment in inmate mental health services, particularly special training for those who work in mental health courts. To read more about the Mental Health Courts (special courts specifically designed for mentally ill offenders that include treatment and follow-up psychiatric care with sentencing), see the 6/24/04 schizophrenia.com newsblog entry: "Separate Courts For Mentally Ill Focus on Rehab."

Article Source: NY times Editorial Desk, 6/26/04
Headline: "The Price of Prisons"


sir, the fault lies realy with the mental health professionals. the original intention of late PRESIDENT KENNEDY was to treat the mentally ill in the environment of HOME. but the psychiatrists and psychologists subverted the original intention and conveerted the prisons into lowcost mental asylums. this also helps them in saying most of the mentallyill are hispanics/blacks and come out with bizarre theories that schizophrenia is more prevalent in urban areas and babies born in cold climate have more schizophrenia etc.

Posted by: captainjohann at July 31, 2004 02:23 PM

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