Cook County Sheriff Speaks on Improper Incarceration of Those Suffering from Mental Health Issues

Tom Dart: "They Deserve More Respect and Proper Treatment"

ROCKFORD - Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart stopped in Rockford on Tuesday to raise awareness about the criminalization of mental illness.

He says those suffering from mental health issues end up in jail because there aren't enough resources to provide the care they need.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford hosted Dart at a packed fundraiser at the Radisson hotel.

Among those in attendance were city leaders and public safety officials.

Dart said many of those struggling with mental illness simply do what they can to survive, such as stealing food to eat or even breaking in to buildings to have a place to sleep, not necessarily violent offenses.

He said there is no excuse to not be able to fix this, saying it's illogical and inhumane to throw them into jails instead of getting them the help they need.

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