New Mexico’s prisons and jails struggle with an ever-increasing population of inmates coping with mental illness. The use of segregation—considered solitary confinement by human rights activists—is also higher than the national average in the state. Several lawsuits have been filed and won that shed a light on the damaging effects of segregating inmates with mental illness for months or years at a time.

KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico reporter Marisa Demarco examines the complicated issue of mental health, incarceration and segregation in this three part series:

Part I

Part 2

Part 3