PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — State Representative Margo Davidson is addressing what she says is a public health crisis surrounding mental health and mass incarceration.

Davidson led a public hearing in Yeadon, Delaware County on Monday, calling out the problems and inhumanities surrounding what she fears over time have become a growing intersection of mental illness and the criminal system.

“Prisons would become the mental health hospitals of the day,” she said, “and we are in that day right now. ”

Davidson says mental illness is a brain disease and shouldn’t be criminalized.

“We know that many people in our commonwealth and across the country are suffering from mental health illness, which I prefer to call brain disease.”

Susan Rogers, a mental health advocate, implores people not to give up on the mentally ill by throwing them into a broken system. She says there is hope, and it’s something she knows about first-hand.

“I have lived with a mental health condition both voluntary and involuntary,” she said. “I have been in recovery for years and I know recovery is possible for everyone.”

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