This graph compares the rates of serious mental illness for men and women in jail versus men and women in the general population. It demonstrates that people in jail are 5 times more likely than the general population to have a serious mental illness. 3% of men in the general population have a serious mental illness, compared to 15% of the jail population; 5% of men in the general population have a serious mental illness, compared to 31% of the jail population.

Data Source: Steadman HJ, Osher FC, Robbins PC, Case B, Samuels S, Prevalence of serious mental illness among jail inmates (2009). (Graph: Alexi Jones, 2019)

This graph originally appeared in Does our county really need a bigger jail? A guide for avoiding unnecessary jail expansion.



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