Our American States
People having a mental health crisis in this country are more likely to encounter law enforcement than to receive treatment. And because of a lack of other resources, police sometimes spend a fifth of their time dealing with people with a mental illness. Studies indicate that more than 80% of people in jails with mental illness do not receive adequate treatment.
States are following a number of paths to deal with the problem and the guests on this podcast discuss the work they’ve done.
Jac Charlier is a former law enforcement officer in Illinois who is a pioneer in the area of deflection, a set of preventive measures aimed at reducing reliance on law enforcement as we respond to the mental health crisis in this country. He discussed how deflection programs work and offered some advice for legislators.
Also, guests on the program are Rep. Leslie Herod, a Democrat from Colorado, and Rep. Dwight Tosh, a Republican from Arkansas. Both have worked on legislation in their states to better address the issue.
If you’d like to learn more about this issue, don’t miss “5 Big Ideas: Collaborative Approaches to the Mental Health Crisis” at NCSL’s Legislative Summit in Denver Aug. 1-3. The session will be Aug. 2 and will feature lawmakers discussing what worked in their states.
This project is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The CDC support is part of a financial assistance award totaling $200,000 with 50% funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS or the U.S. government.