CHICAGO (CBS) — Green balloons were released into the air on Friday as the Cook County Sheriff’s Office marked the start of Mental Health Awareness Month with a short rally across from Cook County Jail.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has called the jail the largest mental health hospital in the country.READ MORE: Police Warn Of Retail Thefts in Gold Coast
“How screwed up is that that the largest mental health hospital is a jail? We, as a society, we’re better than that,” he said.
The sheriff said state legislators should do their jobs, and provide for the mentally ill.
“We have to have a sufficient number of community clinics. They’re outrageously cheap when you compare to how much it costs us here, so this isn’t like a break-the-bank type of thing. It’s just a question of them doing their jobs,” said Dart, a former state lawmaker himself.