Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Criminalization of the Poor

Here's a fantastic article about how being poor is being criminalized. http://ehrenreich.blogs.com/barbaras_blog/2011/08/nickel-and-dimed-2011-version-.html

As a companion piece you can read Criminalizing the Seriously Mentally Ill: The Abuse of Jails As Mental Hospitals, which is significantly longer and incredibly depressing. http://books.google.com/books?id=kR_t_xV5RJIC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

It was written in the early nineties but you would think it had been written in the early 1890's. It's appalling. In a county in Kentucky one of about every three hundred people have been jailed for a mental illness. The book discusses how people are incarcerated without charges and how their medication is withheld, often because it's much cheaper to jail the mentally ill than to treat them.

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