Please summarize the roles of prison of the mentally ill in reducing recidivism from the article link posted on top

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sean475 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This comment in a law review argues that putting the mentally ill in prison is ineffective and costly, and fails to reduce recidivism because it overlooks the underlying problem: The convict’s mental illness.

The article focuses on the impact of so-called “specialty courts,” like drug courts, domestic violence courts, and mental illness courts, to create individual solutions for defendants with particular types of problems. The use of these courts focuses on rehabilitating a convicted defendant, rather than merely punishing them. The article then focuses on the state of Louisiana, which has one of the highest prison populations per capita, and how it only barely uses mental health courts.

However, in so doing, the article touches on aspects of how the criminal justice system fails to help those with mental illnesses, and how this failure ends up costing the taxpayers of America. By failing to help those with mental illnesses overcome their condition, and by simply punishing them for the crimes they commit, those battling mental illnesses are far more likely to commit a crime when they come out of prison than they are after they get treatment for their illness.