WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Legislation Would Shift Mental Health Treatment Away From Virginia Jails

Play associated audio

More than 6,300 people with mental illness are locked up in Virginia jails, and a new report from the inspector general says they're not getting the care required by law. Sheriffs are now demanding more money to provide mental health services.

Virginia jails are the largest provider of mental health services in the state according to John Jones, Executive Director of the Virginia Sheriffs' Association, but too often care consists of locking people in solitary confinement or putting them on suicide watch.

"We have some people in jail with mental illnesses who have committed serious crimes and need to be in jail, to question about that," Jones says. "But we also have a lot of people in jail that are there because there are no beds anywhere else. These people are in jail because they're sick."

Jones says attacks on deputies can often be traced to mental illness and a lack of medication for prisoners. That, he says, is why violent inmates must be separated from the general population.

"I'm not a mental health professional, but I cannot imagine that solitary confinement in a jail is therapeutic way to treat a mentally ill person," Jones says.

State Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover) has introduced a bill to shift dollars for jail construction to building new mental healthcare facilities.

NPR

For A Female Banker At The Top Of Her Game, What Does It Take To Stay There?

In the film Equity, investment banker Naomi Bishop navigates the male-dominated world of Wall Street. Screenwriter Amy Fox discusses the film and her research, which included many interviews with women who worked on Wall Street.
NPR

Salvage Supperclub: A High-End Dinner In A Dumpster To Fight Food Waste

The ingredients — think wilted basil, bruised plums, garbanzo bean water — sound less than appetizing. Whipped together, they're a tasty meal that show how home cooks can use often-tossed foods.
NPR

LISTEN: At The DNC, We Asked Women Why They Were Voting For Clinton

We asked women — as young as 4 and as old as 77 — how much the weight of history factored into their decision.
NPR

Hackers Break Into Another Democratic Party Computer System

The DNC's congressional campaign arm is the latest hacking victim. Investigators say the breach is similar to other recent incidents and that they believe Russia is the likely culprit.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.