Midday Links: More mentally ill people are behind bars than in hospitals

  • Report finds that there are 10 times more mentally ill people in jails or prisons than in hospitals.
  • Utah students claim cops entered their home without a warrant and without probable cause at 3:30 a.m, then handcuffed and interrogated them. The police say they entered because the door was open and the students didn’t respond when the cops announced themselves. The students say that the door is broken and they didn’t answer because they were asleep.
  • The drug war has always been a bipartisan undertaking, and so is the political resistance to the growing movement for reform: The New York Times reports that some of the biggest resistance to marijuana legalization is coming from Democratic governors. Meanwhile, Republican members of Congress continue to their tradition of fair-weather federalism by pressuring the Justice Department to prosecute pot offenders in Colorado and Washington.
  • The Los Angelest Times looks at the simmering tension between the police and citizenry in Albuquerque.
  • Chicago inspector general says the city’s police department underreported the number of victims of aggravated assault and battery by about 25 percent in 2012. I’ve written in the past about how the city tends to give short shrift to crimes with actual victims, while putting a higher priority on drug crimes. (Prioritizing the latter, not coincidentally, can bring in revenue.)
Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."
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Radley Balko | April 9