Briefs: Women with mental illness disproportionaley more likely to end up in jail

Women with mental illness are disproportionately more likely to find jail than health care help according to the associate chief of psychiatry at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. Speaking to the Ottawa Citizen editorial board, Dr. AG Ahmed says it is time to address that imbalance. According to the newspaper, an estimated 800 female inmates have some form of mental disorder in the federal corrections system. Dozens of women at Milton’s Vanier Centre – Ontario’s only correctional facility for women – have symptoms of mental illness that are so severe that they could benefit from being treated at a secure unit. While the Royal Ottawa maintains such a unit to treat men, the nearest for women is in Saskatchewan.

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