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House Subcommittee Approves Bill to Treat Mentally Ill Female Prisoners

On November 1, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security approved, by voice vote, a bill (H.R. 3992) to provide grants for mental health treatment of prison inmates. The bill would authorize $75 million per year from FY2008 to FY2013 for treatment of mentally ill inmates. The program’s current authorization (P.L. 108-414) provides $50 million per year from FY2006 to FY2009.

The bill finds that “rates of mental illness among women in jail are almost twice that of men.” The bill would provide $5 million per year for grants to state, local, and tribal governments for mental health treatment of female prisoners and their families; family support services; and “intensive case management services…designed to provide the range of services needed to address treatment or assistance needs of the offender, with respect to any criminal behavior, substance abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse, housing, employment, and medical needs.”

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