Summary Of Justin Valope's Article 'I Was Lucky To Get Out'

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Criminal Justice for the Mentally Ill
The lack of resources and opportunities for rehabilitation available to mentally ill people in jail is an issue many have attempted to address in recent years. In his article “Jails Are No Place for the Mentally Ill. I Was Lucky to Get Out”, Justin Volpe argues that putting mentally ill people in prison is harmful and ineffectual. Valope asserts his opinion that the criminal justice system’s treatment of the mentally ill must be reformed by directly contrasting rehabilitation with the punishment currently being used in the American criminal justice system and by increasing understanding of mental illness and legitimizing them.
When explaining the importance of rehabilitation for the many mentally ill
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When describing the actions that lead him to end up in jail, Valope states “ I know I am responsible for the actions that landed me in jail, but I also know they were the result of a disease that spiraled out of control due to lack of proper treatment”. Valope’s ability to recognize and take responsibility for the consequence of his actions assists in creating a better understanding for the mentally ill because it presents the idea that they need assistance in order to recover from the illness that lead them down the path to crime. That is why Valope believes that the time they spend in prison should instead be spent in rehabilitation. The word disease is also used to legitimize mental illness as something just as real and serious as any physical ailment. Many people have unsympathetic and dismissive attitudes towards people with mental illnesses; because of this, people who want to discuss mental illness wish to make it seem less abstract through the word disease. It associates mental illnesses with the physical illnesses that are often associated with the word disease, such as cancer and heart disease. Furthermore, it demonstrates the effect that a mental illness can have on someone by associating it with such life-changing