When you defund social programs, those people do not disappear. Some mechanism must exist for the management of them. For the mentally ill, prisons have become the mechanism of last resort. If they act up on the street, we incarcerate them. If the poor cannot bond out, they stay in jail. This is the most costly way to deal with the problem, and the most invisible. We hide our failings in a prison system. Orange is the new black.
This from the Vera Institute of Justice.
Local jails, which exist in nearly every town and city in America, are built to hold people deemed too dangerous to release pending trial or at high risk of flight. This, however, is no longer primarily what jails do or whom they hold, as people too poor to post bail languish there and racial disparities disproportionately impact communities of color.