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Story Publication logo April 10, 2018

Jailing the Mentally Ill

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61-year old James Butler spent nearly 35 years on the streets suffering from mental illness and addiction. 10 months ago he was taken to the Kansas City Assessment and Triage Center where he sobered up and a case worker got him a bed at Benilde Hall, a sober home for men.
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Two reports on criminal justice: a look at efforts to keep the mentally ill out of jail and an...

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Kansas City, MO Police Officer Aric Anderson, who is part of the police crisis intervention team, looks for a homeless man with mental illness at an abandoned house he is known to stay at. Image by PBS Newshour. United States, 2018.
Kansas City, MO Police Officer Aric Anderson, who is part of the police crisis intervention team, looks for a homeless man with mental illness at an abandoned house he is known to stay at. Image by PBS Newshour. United States, 2018.

Each year, an estimated 2 million people suffering from mental illness are booked into county jails. In Kansas City, Missouri, like other places around the country, officials are looking for a better way to get those people the help they need to get back on their feet.

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