Utah is one of four states (including Montana, Idaho, and Kansas) that lack an insanity defense.  This means that defendants with mental illness typically plead guilty to lesser charges and are forced to rely on judges to take mental health considerations into account at sentencing. Some lawyers and psychiatrists say this doesn’t provide enough protection against the death penalty or long incarceration.  Many defendants are offered access to a mental health court, but others fall through the cracks and are sent to prison without receiving adequate therapy.  Moreover, the severely mentally ill often end up rotating through jail in states without insanity defenses.  Read the entire story from NPR here.

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