The Chicago News Cooperative, reporting for the New York Times, wrote an article about the city of Chicago's decision to close down 6 of its 12 mental health facilities this spring, which will result in an increase in the number of people with mental illness being charged with crimes and sent to prison. This decision will also impact the already existing problem of overcrowding in the Cook County Jail. The ACLU of Illinois' Institutionalized Persons Project Director and Associate Legal Director, Ben Wolf, was quoted in the article:
Benjamin S. Wolf, associate legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, said the impact of the closings should prompt a re-evaluation of the way the mentally ill are served in Chicago.
“We need to step back and rethink how we allocate mental health services,” he said. “We’re starving the system in the ways it helps people best.”