Mental Illness In Prison

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Modern day mental health professionals have become concerned with the increasing number of people with mental illness in jails and prison. This phenomenon is not recent and it did not transpire overnight. Although health care professionals shedding light on this situation is relatively recent. Numerous reports display a large population of mentally ill people in the American jail and prison system. If anyone is going to attempt to solve this problem they must first understand the questions at hand which is why individuals with mental illness are committing illegal actions to land themselves in jail or prison and why are these individuals not receiving treatment in hospitals or other psychiatric settings. With further review and understanding…show more content…
Factors that are taken into account when addressing the mentally ill are deinstitutionalization, more community and civic involvement, and formal training for the law enforcement who deal with this growing population. America’s prison system serves as the new asylum. After many mental institutions closed beginning in the mid 1960’s few alternatives materialized. Many individuals with mental health issues turned to the streets, where untreated they became vulnerable to drug abuse, crime, and joblessness. Roughly 5% of all adult Americans suffer from a serious illness according to a 2012 report by a division of the 2012 US Department of Health and Human Services. A 2006 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that over half of all prison and jail inmates have some sort of mental health issue. An estimated 1.24 Million suffer from mental health issues which are over 4 times that number in 1998. This research indicates that mental illness is overrepresented within the criminal justice system. The current rates indicate that two to four times that of the normal…show more content…
These inmates enter this system with chronic health problems, chronic unemployment and homelessness, and financial instability. These individuals usually tend to not have health care coverage and with their financially instability are unable to support themselves financially thought treatment. They often times also lack a structured support system and positive reinforcement to support their emotional health and stability. These inmates often require specific services and housing needs not typical of other inmates. These inmates while incarcerated often require specialized attention, treatment, medication, and security. With regard to their illness they may require higher ratios of staff, special programming, and detailed case management. Many officials within the corrections system find themselves balances the needs of these inmates with the cost of these specialized

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