Ignored and underfunded, mental health care thin at county jails

Inmate at La Crosse County jail

Key findings:
• Wisconsin’s county-run jails are overloaded with people with mental illness — but services are largely inadequate.
• The state Department of Corrections is charged with oversight but does not evaluate the quality of jails’ mental health care.
• For nearly a quarter-century, the Legislature has required the DOC to collect and summarize annual reports on jails’ mental health care, but most jails have not provided the information, and the DOC acknowledges it has not been asking for them.
• One-third of Wisconsin’s jails have been cited for inadequate suicide prevention efforts. Continue Reading

Minor offenders, major consequences

Wisconsin is one of 13 states that automatically place 17-year-olds in the adult criminal justice system. In the past few years, nearly one-third of states have passed laws to keep more young offenders in the juvenile justice system. But not Wisconsin. Continue Reading

Depressed mothers face barriers to treatment

More than 65 percent of depressed mothers don’t get adequate treatment for depression, according to a nationwide study released this fall by the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. The study of 2,130 women found that black, Hispanic and other minority mothers, as well as uninsured mothers, were among the least likely to be helped. Continue Reading