And thanks to Instapundit for linking to my book about this problem -- the one that the mainstream media would prefer to ignore. And Dave Kopel is banging the drum over at April 18, 2013 National Review:Since 1978, Chicago Police alone have arrested Miles 396 times, mostly on the North Side — under at least 83 different aliases. Those arrests include 92 for theft, 65 for disorderly conduct, 59 for prostitution-related crimes and five for robbery or attempted robbery.The frustrating truth: The system — strapped by overcrowded prisons and cuts to mental health funding — hasn’t been able to save Miles from herself or to help the communities she menaces. Nothing has worked. Not jail. Not prison. Not countless psychological exams for the woman described as being “acutely psychotic.”
Today is a good day to begin what should have begun on December 15, 2012: the search for genuine reforms that could help prevent another Newtown...
Because only a very small percentage of people who are mentally ill are dangerously violent, it is essential that dialogue about reforms not stigmatize the mentally ill as a general class. As with the deprivation of any constitutional right, there must be strong protections for due process, including fair hearings where both sides can present evidence, and a neutral decision-maker. Especially with regard to America’s veterans, such reforms are long overdue, and Senator Richard Burr’s reform amendment on this issue got 56 votes yesterday.
But mental-health reforms must go far beyond the issue of gun possession. Some of the violent mentally ill, like the Aurora murderer, can build sophisticated bombs. Anyone who is severely mentally ill and violent can run over a crowd of people with a car.
The murderers in Tucson, Aurora, and Newtown were all people who should have been civilly committed for treatment. Half a century ago, they could have been. State-level reforms should strengthen civil-commitment laws while fully respecting due process. States’ funding for mental -health treatment needs to be greatly increased. Over the past months, I have received many e-mails from people who know someone who is mentally ill and violent; again and again, they are told that the state or local government has no resources to help the individual — until the individual is caught perpetrating a violent felony, and then the individual will be imprisoned. In fact, more spending on mental health now would pay for itself in the long run with reduced prison costs.