Letters to the Editor

Separate criminals and mentally ill

I think it’s a disgrace our beautiful, peaceful, pastoral state of Iowa still leads the nation in number of people in prison per capita — a large percentage of whom are mentally ill — at an annual cost to taxpayers of $30,000 minimum per inmate.

When will we stop housing crafty crooks with over-sedated sick offenders by moving about 1,000 mentally ill prisoners into a separate facility such as the Iowa State Mental Health Institute at Independence where they can get treated for healthy rehabilitation? This would also free up needed space in prison for “real” criminals and lessen the number of prisoners to guard.

Now that the Iowa State University Catt Center claims 30 percent of Iowa state lawmakers are women, I wonder if it’s too much to hope that some of them will think of exercising the legendary compassion and fairness of women to take the lead in rescuing enough of these hopelessly vegetating ill prisoners and make our state proud.

Hope Rogers

Vinton

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