An Interview with Catherine Strode
It is estimated that the incidence of mental illness among prison inmates is three times more prevalent than in the general population. Nationally, more than a third of inmates are reported to suffer from some form of mental illness. Colorado statistics reflect nearly 40 per cent of the state’s inmates are in need of mental health intervention. A package of bills is being introduced this Session to address the issue of competency for individuals with mental illness in the criminal justice system.
Senator Pete Lee, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been one of the architects of the bills. He says the goal is to establish a protocol where individuals in need of mental health care are identified and expediently moved out of the criminal justice system into community treatment care programs.