Audit: Ill NYC inmates leaving jail need more care

AP News
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Posted: Nov 21, 2014 7:04 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — An audit has found officials could do a better job of following up with seriously mentally ill inmates leaving New York City jails.

Comptroller Scott Stringer said Friday health officials didn't follow up with 11 percent of seriously mentally ill inmates in the 30 days after their releases despite a court mandate. He says 82 percent of less seriously mentally ill inmates also weren't seen.

A longstanding court settlement doesn't require officials to follow up with inmates who aren't classified as seriously mentally ill. Stringer says they should.

A health spokesman says there's room for improvement but officials' 89 percent follow-up rate reflects how seriously the issue is taken.

Roughly 40 percent of the city's 11,000 inmates have mental health diagnoses. About 33 percent suffer from serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.