State Corrections Chief: Do Mentally ill Belong in Prison?
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota's new corrections commissioner plans to draw on his training in social work to address one of the biggest challenges facing prison systems across the country: inmates with mental illness.
Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell says he questions whether many of the people with mental illness should be in prison. Schnell says more corrections officers need to be trained to handle mental health issues.
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that as many as half of the people held in jails and prisons have a mental illness.
Joe Miller was a corrections officer at the Stillwater state prison for 13 years. Miller says there aren't enough officers to do the work properly. He argues that inmates with mental illness should be moved into a separate facility designed for them.