Friday, January 21, 2011

Criminalizing Homelessness

Paul Boden, Organizing Director of the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) wrote an article on January 20th for the Huffington Post titled "It's Crazy to Criminalize Homelessness."

Mr. Boden gave the following information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  • 64% of people in jails, nationwide, have mental health problems.
  • 16-30% have severe mental illness.
  • 40% of those with severe mental illness have been imprisoned at some point in their lives.
  • 90% of those incarcerated with a mental illness have been incarcerated more than once - 30% have been incarcerated ten times or more.

The article states, "We at WRAP see this ever-increasing incarceration of mentally ill people as part of a trend toward using the criminal justice system to address health and socioeconomic needs."

The Western Region Advocacy Project is currently conducting outreach to mentally ill individuals, service providers, justice system employees, lawyers and researchers. For readers who are interested in learning more this outreach and participating in a nationwide survey of self-identified mentally ill homeless people visit the WRAP website.

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For more information about mental illness and incarcerated women visit my website: The Women of Block 12.

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