A breakdown in mental health services across the state of Colorado has left law enforcement on the front lines of handling people in crisis.
The Rocky Mountain PBS Insight with John Ferrugia team spent more than a year gathering stories from all over the state showing the often-tragic interactions between the criminal justice system and people who are suffering a mental health crisis.
The stories show mentally ill people are being shot by police and officers are being wounded and even killed in these interactions.
People, often judged mentally incompetent, are spending months in jail without trial waiting through a backlogged mental evaluation system. And police officers say rather than investigating crimes, they are often spending much of their day trying to help people who should be receiving mental health treatment.
In this special hour-long program, “Breakdown,” Insight explores how jails have become the primary gateway to mental health treatment in Colorado, and is asking what the state is doing to try to address it.
If you need mental health services, contact Colorado Crisis Services for confidential support: 844-493-TALK (8255) or text “TALK” to 38255.
Three-Part Breakdown Podcast Series
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No security blanket: Rural Colorado jails struggle to provide mental health treatment
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Boulder County emphasizes mental health services for offenders
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A broken system: Colorado struggles to uphold laws requiring timely mental competency service for detainees, despite losing lawsuits and years of failure
Hundreds of people are in Colorado jails, presumed innocent while awaiting trial, but are stuck there because the state has failed for nearly a decade to provide mental health services, including mental competency evaluations.Read More
The never-ending cycle of the mental health hold: How many M-1 holds does it take before a person in crisis can get real help?
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