At the Prayer Vigil for Sentencing Reform, Craig Deroche of the Prison Fellowship said,“every person in there is created in the image of God and deserves our support”. Unfortunately, this is not what is happening today, especially for those with psychiatric disabilities.
Prisons have a shocking amount of people with disabilities serving time, and these tragedies are far too common. Currently, 32% of federal prisoners and 40% of people in jail have at least one disability according to the US Department of Justice. Today there are roughly 750,000 people with disabilities behind bars. Prisons are the largest mental health providers in the United States, even though they are not designed or equipped for prisoners with psychiatric disabilities.
Community programs are the best way to provide support to those being released from prison. That support system is vital to prevent recidivism. Programs can offer treatments and resources so that nobody has to worry about being re-incarcerated. Without support, two thirds of offenders will end up back in prison.
“We need to accept that the prison system in America is flawed, and we need a way to right the wrongs we have done with it. All those created in the image of God deserve a fighting chance through treatment and prevention programs.” (Rabbi Jonah Pesner of the Religious Action Center)
To read the complete article: http://www.aapd.com/need-disability-inclusion-criminal-justice-reform/