Friend of repeat offender speaks on need for mental health services behind bars

Diana Glaspie (Vigo County Jail Photo)
Diana Glaspie (Vigo County Jail Photo)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A woman accused of arson is back in court.

Diana Glaspie is charged in connection to setting several area dumpsters on fire. She is accused of setting fire to a dumpster at 9th and Swan Streets in Terre Haute. Afterwards, Glaspie allegedly went to the Dollar General on Poplar. There authorities say she torched another dumpster.

Last week News 10 spoke with one of her alleged victims. He is in support of more beds behind bars. This as potentially dangerous repeat offenders are being let out due to overcrowding.

Now someone is stepping forward to speak on Glaspie’s behalf. “There are bad people in there, but there are good people that go to jail sometimes because of mental illnesses,” said Michelle Ireland. She has been Glaspie’s friend for more than 10-years.

Ireland describes Glaspie as a veteran, loving mother, and grandmother who simply needs help. “She doesn’t go to these places and burn things because she wants to harm someone. She is terribly schizophrenic,” said Ireland.

More than 30-percent of local inmates are diagnosed with a severe mental illness. Ireland understands the push for a bigger jail, but she says her friend and many others are in need of something more.

“Segregate them and give them medical help and therapy every day. If we don’t have them places to send them anymore then we need to make something like that,” said Ireland.

Glaspie is currently in the Vigo County Jail on at $25,000 bond.

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