Richland County S.C. Sheriff Leon Lott–Mistreating mentally ill inmates endangers public

Two months ago, an escaped mentally ill inmate was walking down the street, blocking traffic. I stopped, and the next thing I knew he started accusing me of killing his mother. Then he attacked me. Fortunately, I was able to subdue him, and we returned him to prison.

Mental illness is not a crime, and the vast majority of people with mental illness are not dangerous. People whose mental illness goes untreated, however, may become dangerous. Tragic headlines around the country too often provide evidence of that fact.

It is against this background that S.C. Circuit Judge Michael Baxley recently found that mentally ill inmates in S.C. prisons receive grossly inadequate treatment. His 45-page order sets forth in shocking detail the deficiencies in the Department of Corrections’ mental health system.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Mental Illness, Politics in General, Prison/Prison Ministry, Psychology, State Government, Theology

One comment on “Richland County S.C. Sheriff Leon Lott–Mistreating mentally ill inmates endangers public

  1. MichaelA says:

    A courageous public statement by the County Sheriff.

    As he correctly points out, if society fails to spend money on treating the mentally ill, it will end up paying a lot more:
    [blockquote] “People either get better or get worse in prison. Inmates with serious mental illness who are warehoused for years in appalling conditions without effective treatment are likely to get worse. Most of those inmates eventually are released. Then local law enforcement, such as the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and the community have to deal with them on a revolving basis.”[/blockquote]