Ohio Gov. and likely Republican presidential candidate John Kasich argued last week that the number of mentally ill people in prison is “a disgrace” and touted the changes made by his administration to help treat those afflicted.
Speaking on May 26 at a GOP luncheon in Fulton County, Georgia, Kasich recalled how, when questioned by his daughter, he could not justify the practice of imprisoning the mentally ill.
“We have 10,000 people in our prisons who have mental illness,” Kasich said, apparently referring to an estimate for the state of Ohio. “Reese and I were watching 60 Minutes one Sunday and they were having this story of them locking the mentally ill up in the prisons and she looked at me and she said, ‘Daddy, why are those people being locked up?’ I couldn’t answer her satisfactorily, other than to say, ‘We seem to ignore these people.’ Now I don’t know how many of you know people who struggle with these illnesses but if you’ve got a problem with schizophrenia and you find yourself in a prison? It’s a disgrace in this country.”
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