mental illness in jail

State of Texas: Behind Bars with a Mental Illness

by and

A version of this story ran in the September 2015 issue.

Sandra Bland’s arrest in Waller County and her death three days later in the county jail sparked national outrage over police brutality and racial discrimination. Ruled a suicide by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston, Bland’s jailhouse death has also raised significant questions statewide about the screening, supervision and treatment of mentally ill individuals booked in Texas’ 243 county jails.

mental illness in jail

Sources: Texas Tribune, Texas Commission on Jail Standards, Texas Public Policy Foundation county jail survey, Kaiser Family Foundation

Illustration by Joanna Wojtkowiak