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.

WAMU 88.5

Verdine White On 45 Years With Earth, Wind & Fire

Forty-five years ago, the band “Earth, Wind and Fire” introduced audiences to a new kind of funk--one that fused soul, jazz, Latin and pop. Bassist Verdine White talks to guest host Derek McGinty about breaking racial boundaries in music and how the band is still evolving.

NPR

The Case Against The Shirley Temple (The Drink)

Author and cocktail enthusiast Wayne Curtis wrote an article called "Shirley Temples Are Destroying America's Youth." He talks about why he hates Shirley Temples — the drink, not the person.
WAMU 88.5

What's Ahead At The Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention gets underway in Philadelphia, where Hillary Clinton will accept the presidential nomination.

NPR

Experimental Plane Sets Off On Final Leg Of Its Round-The-World Journey

It's the first time for a solar-powered plane to circumnavigate the globe. Now it's en route to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — and you can watch the journey in a live video from the cockpit.

Leave a Comment

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