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A respected documentary says that more than 20% of people in prison have mental problems. Some of these inmates say they deliberately commit crimes to get into prison. They say they do it because prison is the only place they can get mental health care and medicine. Poverty has many faces, but it is sad when people feel they have to commit crimes to get care. Americans are quite generous in many ways. God help us to find a way to assist poor people who have mental problems. God’s concern for poor people is well known. We read in Proverbs 14:31, “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Proverbs 19:17 reads, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” As the ancient nation of Israel was about to enter the Promised Land, God gave them an emphatic rule in regards to the poor. We read in Leviticus, ch 19. “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God.” The New Testament also stresses that we should help the poor. So in addition to all we now do to help those without resources, surely we can find a way to assist the poor who need mental health care.

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