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The Washington Post

Does cutting mental health care increase the prison population?

State-supported mental health care, like many social services, has been especially vulnerable in the recent rounds of budget cuts. Over the past two years, some $1.6 billion has been slashed from non-Medicaid state spending on mental health, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. But a growing number of law enforcement officials — along with mental health advocates — are voicing concerns that such cutbacks not only hurt mental health beneficiaries but also overburden the country’s prison system.