People are being locked up when that’s NOT the solution to the problems they’re dealing with. Those with medical and mental health issues often end up in jails and prisons when the police are called to respond to issues they’re not qualified to handle. And it’s resulting in something troubling.
Policing is viewed as a go-to mental healthcare response in many communities across the nation. The problem is that being aggressive and arresting then locking someone up in ways police often do is NOT how medical issues should be resolved. It’s actually dangerous!
Data from the Prison Policy Initiative found that people with multiple arrests were much more likely to have substance abuse issues, serious mental illnesses, and lack healthcare. Prisons and jails aren’t treatment clinics, mental health facilities, or hospitals! Acting like they are is all wrong.
The same research - which identified people who lack the appropriate healthcare are more likely to have multiple arrests - also showed these people are more likely to be Black. Jails and prisons are making the problem worse by cycling people through a system that isn’t helping them.
What we need is a country where EVERYONE has healthcare, no matter their race or income. Resources are a much better idea than putting people into traumatic situations that can turn bad quickly. For Black people, this change could be the difference between life and death.