By Hannah Guzik, HealthyCal
California's jails and prisons hold far more people with severe psychiatric illnesses than state hospitals, according to a recent report from the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs’ Association.
“For a state with 38 million people -- 1 in every 8 Americans lives in California -- there are almost no public psychiatric beds available for individuals with serious mental illness,” the report says.
Four state hospitals -- Metropolitan, Patton, Napa, and Atascadero -- have just over 4,500 beds, but 88 percent of them are reserved for mentally ill individuals who have been charged with crimes, according to the report. Another state hospital at Coalinga is used almost exclusively for sexually violent predators.
California's major prisons house more than 33,000 mentally ill inmates. That’s 28 percent of the 120,000 inmates in those prisons.