Unfortunately, very often people with addiction or mental health issues are winding up in jail instead of in treatment. At H&H Law Center we see it all the time, someone with a serious mental issue acts in a way that they would ordinarily not act, and ends up being convicted of a crime and serves time. In Maine we see this come up time and time again with heroin addiction. The problem with that approach is clear, jails simply aren’t equipped to handle the underlying causes of the behavior, the root cause isn’t treated. In the state of Maine, and all over the country, we need to take a closer look at how we are treating, both socially and medically, these people with sometimes debilitating psychological problems. We need to ask ourselves, are we treating them with the compassion with which we would want to be treated, or our children, or our friends?
Watch the video to see Devens Hamlen’s take on the issue.