Locking Up the Mentally Ill and Drug Affected
"The degree of civilisation in a society can be judged by entering its prisons" (Dostoevsky).
Dostoevsky had it right! Our prisons are overflowing, more prisons are being built and health issues such mental illness and drug dependency is primarily treated as a criminal matter rather than a health matter. The Prisoners Legal Service (PLS) has been advocating for a review of the parole system. PLS has raised concerns about 'persons who are returned to prison for breaches of their parole and prisoners who, in general, are not currently offered access to timely rehabilitation programs, services and interventions including for mental health, domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse (http://plsqld.com/news-2/). Sadly, locking people up still seems to be the way to address complex mental health and drug problems. Isn't it time for change? Change could take the shape of increased drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs inside and outside of prisons.