Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart sat down with journalist
Steve Kroft for a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday about the
issue of housing inmates at Cook County Jail who have some form of
The segment on "60 Minutes" regarding mental illness follows the most recent mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. earlier this month carried out by gunman Aaron Alexis, who had a history of mental problems.
Dart said jails and prisons have become "the new insane asylums", adding that some 2,500 mentally ill inmates
are housed at Cook County Jail. Dart showed some videos recorded in
the jail by staffers that captured inmates with mental illnesses behaving
in an erratic manner due to them being crammed "into the criminal justice system, where they’re not supposed to be."
is a population that people don’t care about and so as a result of that
there are not the resources out there to care for them,” Dart said in the interview.
“The irony is so deep that you have a society that finds it wrong to
have people warehoused in state mental institutions but those very same
people were OK if we warehouse them in a jail. You’ve got to be kidding
Dart went on to say that some of the inmates with a mental illness are getting treatment, while others are not.
are falling through the cracks all the time,” he told Kroft. “To think
that won’t then boil up at some point and end up in a tragedy, that’s