A recent grand jury investigation into the County’s jails reveals they are not fit for people with mental disorders. In recent years, many of the jails in Orange County have been identified as overcrowded or poorly secured. Now, according to the OC Weekly, a grand jury investigation shows that one in five inmates housed in County jails is suffering with mental illness. The living conditions in the jails are far from adequate for anyone, but for people suffering with their conditions, the situation may be dire. The County has 120 jail beds set-aside for the mentally ill. On a daily basis, there are 1,200 mentally ill inmates in Orange County jails.
All inmates deserve and are promised fair and humane treatment. All of them deserve nothing less. But when the inmates who are suffering with severe internal struggles are treated inhumanely, this makes the failure of the system even more glaring. Overcrowded jails with facilities that are woefully out-of-date and conditions that do not protect the dignity of the incarcerated: Can’t Orange County do better?