Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the Sandra Bland Act into law back in June and it went into effect on September 1, 2017. The law requires jailers to make an immediate determination on the mental health status of an inmate, and divert those who have a mental illness or substance abuse problem to a treatment facility instead of jail.1 (more…)
Jail and prison overcrowding are a major problem in the U.S. today. Our country accounts for five percent of the world’s population, but we house 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, according to the ACLU of Texas1.
Largely driven by the “war on drugs” in the 1980s and the “tough on crime” policies of the 1990s, America’s prisons are overflowing with nonviolent offenders. Fueled by the privatization of prisons and the huge profits gained from filling them to the brim, prison populations include the mentally ill, the elderly, the drug addicted and children charged as adults. (more…)