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Mentally Ill Need Help Not Jail - Mark

New Zealand First MP Ron Mark today called for a winding back of de-institutionalisation and the provision of more secure care facilities for people who suffer from mental illness.

Mr Mark said reports that prisons have become dumping grounds for mentally ill people were an absolute indictment on previous administrations who pursued such policies.

“This brain-child of former Minister of Health Helen Clark has been a complete failure,” Mr Mark said.

“My concern is for the patients who are not getting the care they are entitled to, the police and prison services who are left to pick up the pieces, and the safety and security of the public at large.

“New Zealand First will put an end to this blind adherence to the ideology of total de-institutionalisation for patients and will provide the resources and facilities to achieve this.

“We can no longer tolerate the mentally ill being left to their own devices on the streets. These people inappropriately end up in our jails to be cared for by untrained and unsupported prison officers,” Mr Mark said.


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