US jails struggle with role as makeshift asylums

Associated Press
In this June 26, 2014 photo, a U.S. veteran with post-traumatic stress sits in a segregated holding pen at the Cook County Jail after he was arrested on a narcotics charge in Chicago. The Chicago complex, with more than 10,600 inmates, is one of the country's largest single-site jails. From big cities to rural counties, the nation’s 3,300 local jails have turned into treatment centers of last resort for people with serious mental illnesses, most arrested for non-violent crimes. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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The Cook County Jail in Chicago and many of its 3,300 counterparts across the country have become treatment centers of last resort for people with serious mental illnesses, most arrested for non-violent crimes. And like other jails, it is awash in a tide of booking and releases that make it particularly unsuited for the task. (AP)

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