Letters to the Editor

Treatment, not jail

I have been listening to the debates of sheriff's candidates Cal Minor and Margaret Mims in regard to prison overcrowding. Not once have they brought up the large population of people with mental illnesses in our jails. Shouldn't this be the time when we get people out of the jail system who do not even belong there in the first place?

Why don't we alter part of the juvenile detention center so that people with mental illnesses have a place to receive better treatment? This would, by far, be the best bang for our buck. Also, a mental health court would prevent the wrong people from going to jail in the first place and send them for treatment instead.

Let's do the right thing for the people who need our support the most. I would like to see which sheriff candidate can come up with the best plan in this regard -- then we would know who to support.

Connie Brooks

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Fresno

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