mental health | Texas Public Radio

mental health

According to state officials, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice counts a large number of inmates with mental illness and drug addiction because the state lacks funding for their treatment. 

On Tuesday members of the House Corrections and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee held a special joint committee hearing to discuss the huge influx of mentally ill people who are being sent to prison.  

  Last week "Grits For Breakfast" published the report from the state's prison consultants, The Moss Group, on what implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) would have meant for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Joey Palacios / TPR News

In the first segment:

One in four adults have a diagnosable mental disorder according to the National Institutes for Mental Health, which is almost 60 million Americans. For the first time, Bexar County created a mental health department, which has a $300,000 budget. The department intends to plug the holes and coordinate the resources here in Bexar County.

We talk with their first director, Gilbert Gonzales, about what is coming for the county and what they feel they can do with this first step.

In the second segment:

Parents who rely on movie ratings to decide what their children can watch may think that PG-13 films have fewer villains flashing guns than R-rated movies.

But they're wrong.

The PG-13 movies actually show more gun violence, a study finds.

Bryant Furlow

Fronteras: New Mexico accused 15 of it's mental health providers of Medicaid fraud, froze all federal funds to the agencies, and handed management of the companies over to Arizona firms. Some say the transition isn't going so well. We remember an activist who spoke up for the people who find themselves stranded and destitute in Tijuana after being deported from the U.S. Catholic leaders are hoping a nationwide immigration mass will sway Congress on immigration reform. Also, the Navajo Nation is trying to balance resources with feral horse roundups.

Suicide killed more American troops last year than combat in Afghanistan, and that is likely to be the case again this year.

According to the Pentagon, there were at least 349 confirmed suicides in 2012, compared with 310 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan in the same period.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

On Tuesday Bexar County Commissioners celebrated the 5-year anniversary of the Mental Health Court.

In 2008, the program began diverting non-violent, mentally ill offenders from jail, and instead entered them into a structured treatment program and case management to stop the cycle of arrest-release-arrest that many offenders get caught in.

Judge Michael Mery, who founded the court, said people who are  now recovering from drug abuse or mental illness often tell him how the court changed their lives:

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