Advocacy group seeks immediate action on jailhouse mental health treatment

Oct 24, 2019

An advocacy group reports the leading cause of deaths in jails across North Carolina is suicide. Disability Rights North Carolina is calling for immediate action to address mental health treatment in jails. A report from the group says statistics over four years ending in 2016 indicated that of 111 deaths in jails, at least 51 were suicides. That’s a rate of 45.9%, which their report says exceeds the 2014 national average of 35% reported by the U-S Department of Justice. Disability Rights notes a high rate of individuals with mental illnesses in jail, citing statistics like the Wake County Jail reporting between 60-and-70 percent of its approximately 1000 inmates in July 2016 having a mental illness. Jails differ from prisons in that those held in jails have not yet been convicted of a crime and are awaiting trial.