Life After Prison Analysis

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The Released Life after prison is extremely difficult for the mentally ill. The PBS publication The Released documents how people who suffer from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia have a tremendously hard and often unsuccessful time with managing life after being released from prison. For schizophrenics like Jerry Tharp, sometimes even just the act of living is a hurdle. In the documentary, Jerry admitted to having harmed himself multiple times and tried more than once to take his own life. In prison however, Jerry was able to control his schizophrenia through monitored medication. After serving 10 years for aggravated robbery, he was paroled. Three months later he stopped taking his medication and was sent back to jail for robbing a pharmacy. Jerry is just one of hundreds of cases where mentally ill patients return to prison after being released. Nearly all mentally ill inmates who are released from prison return within a very short time. When patients are released, they have no good support system to encourage the continuation of their medication or the adjustment to civilian life. They are often released with only a couple weeks…show more content…
They struggle to make social connections and often cannot keep the ones they do make. For the seriously mentally ill, real freedom is hard to find. While many believe the policy of deinstitutionalization was a good thing, for the seriously mentally ill patient who needs constant care and daily therapy, the loss of that resource is tragic. A better understanding of how to divert mentally ill people who commit crimes away from prison is needed. Until then the cycle of prison to homeless to prison or worse will continue and the mentally ill will be doomed to a tragic life of never finding
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