Mentally ill people who are refused mental health treatment in Denver often end up in jail or prison instead, where they do not get accurate mental health treatment, but where their incarceration costs society far more than accurate mental health treatment would have.
Three top drawer pros discuss their varied perspectives of how this occurs, what the City of Denver is doing to pull some people out of their cycles of recidivism and prison. Christie Donner, executive director of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, questions why call the police instead of the psychiatrist. Carl Clark, MD and CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver, describes his own father's bipolar disorder and reminds the public that many mentally ill people do recover and return to productive lives. And Regina Huerter, executive director of the City of Denver's Crime Prevention and Control Commission, tells what Denver judges and district attorneys are doing to identify repeat offenders who are mentally ill, and provide the accurate services that can remove them from the cycle of recidivism.
But why can't we start with providing accurate mental health services first?