Reversing Reality: Understanding Mental Illness to Avert Incarceration and Advocate Treatment
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This podcast explores mental health courts’ potential as an alternative for the incarceration of the mentally ill. By examining this alternative’s efficacy, I enforce the general understanding that the concept of prison was not created to be a mental health care facility; they are forced to and are doing a poor job. My research aims to understand the causes of severe mental illness and explore how its intersection with race, ethnicity, and environment leads to the incarceration of those with mental illness. This research draws upon interviews with key informants, including representatives from the criminal justice and mental health systems, to address these questions. The representatives share their knowledge and perspectives on mental illness, incarceration, how the criminal justice system is currently handling severe mental illness, and mental health courts’ efficacy as a potential solution to the problem.