Repost from last night. Eat this, Scoop!

I haven’t made a big deal of it here, but it’s no secret that I am bipolar. Story like this one get my attention:

Criminal justice can be viewed as a numbers game. Consider these two: 15 and $157,665.

The first figure is the number of times “John,” a 44-year old St. Paul resident, has been arrested and detained in the past six years on quality-of-life crime offenses that include trespassing, urinating in public, disorderly conduct and panhandling. The second is the jaw-dropping estimated cost for John’s prosecution, incarceration and mental health services over that time from a cost analysis put together by the Ramsey County Department of Human Services.

But justice is best explained in human terms. John, county workers assure me, is a real person, a chronically homeless man who struggles with schizophrenia and cocaine addiction. His real name was not released because of medical confidentiality rules.

He is just one of the many revolving-door-type offenders constantly in and out of the criminal justice system. They are getting locked up, but not getting locked into the right kind of help that might slow down or stop that revolving door.

Which is why John and others like him are the poster children for Ramsey County’s newest “problem solving court.”


No major point here, other than to point out the immense costs mental illness can have, both personally and financially.

If you need more proof, consider this: Eli Lilly will pay $690 million to settle lawsuits related to its medication Zyprexa, used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

And still, there are 14 states that do not mandate mental illness coverage in health care.

Can somebody please tell me what the hell is the matter with this country?

Europeans? Canadians?


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