KS inmates lack needed treatment

Inmates with mental health issues are waiting months for medication and treatment because a state hospital is so overtaxed.

By

State News

October 19, 2021 - 9:31 AM

Photo by Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service / kcur.org

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Inmates with mental health issues are waiting months to get the medication and treatment they need to be deemed competent to assist in their own defense because a state hospital is so overtaxed.

Douglas County Sheriff Jay Armbrister said the situation is so bad that the case of one man with severe mental health issues took six years to make it through the court system. The man ultimately was sentenced to 16 months — less than a quarter of the amount of time he had been incarcerated, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

Armbrister said the case encapsulates the “dark underbelly” of the state’s criminal justice system, which he believes fails to properly account for the mental health of those who are held in jail prior to conviction.

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