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Crisis point for mentally ill charged with crimes

Utah State Hospital in Provo (Credit: Deseret News)
Utah State Hospital in Provo credit: Deseret News

Utah State Hospital in Provo credit: Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A months-long investigation unveils a crisis in Utah’s jail cells. Advocates say the mentally ill are being trapped behind bars.

The Deseret News found that nearly 70 mentally ill men and women who are supposed to be receiving mental health treatment, are instead being kept in jail.  They are waiting for openings at the Utah State Hospital in Provo.

The wait times are around five months or more, and the wait list has doubled each year between 2012 and 2015.

The state spends 20 million dollars per year on mentally ill inmates at their lowest point instead of when their symptoms were less severe.

Read more in the special report here.