Justice Department: One in Four Women in Jail Have Serious Mental Health Issues

Steve Neavling

A Justice Department study has found that one in four women in jail have serious mental illnesses.

The Justice Department announced the findings Wednesday in what is certain to spark more debates about access to mental health care in prison.

The study also found that half of incarcerated women had received treatment for mental health or substance abuse disorders.

“The overrepresentation of women with mental illness in jails has tragic consequences for children and families. It is important that the field of criminal justice understands how mental illness, trauma, and other disorders are related to women becoming involved in the criminal justice system,” said BJA Director Denise E. O’Donnell. “The information from this study can help us develop strategies to address and respond to these issues.”


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