Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System
I will discuss contributing factors that have caused an increase in prisons and jails population with mentally ill individuals. These factors include deinstitutionalization, a war on drugs (substance abuse), recidivism with mental health treatment and how to improve treatment and care for people that are mentally ill in the criminal justice system. I will discuss how deinstitutionalization has been a contributing factor to the increased numbers in prisons and jails with a mental illness. The War on drugs another reason that jails and prisons are expanding with the majority of individuals suffering from mental illness. Past research discoveries state that people are over-represented, however recent research seems to report this issue to be on a continuous rise. Supporting safety for these individuals while in custody is yet another crucial issue justice system face when dealing with.
This is because these groups of people are likely to have suicidal thoughts that they might act out their thought during the first 24 hours of detention (Lamberti and Weisman, 2004). Thus, managing mentally challenged inmates means that the criminal justice system should offer timely psychiatric treatment as well as focus on deterring them from acting out suicidal thoughts. Suicide has greatly been linked to the top causes of death in penitentiaries than in the general community. In most cases, inmates suffering from mental illness report issues related to lack of access to psychiatric services whilst incarcerated. The national “War on Drugs” implemented laws as well as aggressive policies that mainly contributed to the surging of prison inmates. According to Vera Institute of Justice (2018), the war on drugs that emerged in the 1970s and proceeded the decades that followed came up with strict policies that saw an unprecedented number of individuals being sent behind bars and severely punished in relation to drug offenses.
For instance, in pervasive racial gaps, African Americans have a high record of criminal detention following cases of drugs. These arrests contributed in the increase of psychologically ill individuals in prisons and jails. Thus, today, approximately 15-22 percent of individuals in jails report a diagnosable mental illness related to substance disorder. Cases of mental disorders are likely to be high in state prisoners as compared to the general population which often have free access to healthcare services. Image by Hogg Foundation for Mental Health Criminal recidivism is also a major backer to the increasing number of incarcerated individuals as a result of mental illness. GoodTherapy. org (2018) argues that incarceration has introduced more health problems due to reduced resources to offer effective treatment for the growing cases of mental illness.
Thus, as a result of reduced mental health care for mentally ill individuals who have not been fully treated or who are under treatment might result in "recidivism. Further, the research suggests that mentally ill individuals get long sentences in prison, unlike the general population that is mentally sound. This is based on (Bales, Nadel, Reed, and Blomberg, 2017) argument that a person sported with a mental bug problem is likely to recidivate upon release and their criminal behavior define who they are. This is vice versa in most cases of individuals from the general population that does not suffer from any mental related issues. They have a reduced possibility to take part again in issues that will result in criminal punishment in a jail or prison because of their conscious state criminal behaviors.
Intervention methods It should be the top priority of the public health to effectively offer healthcare services among individuals suffering from cases of mental illness in prisons and jails. Police based intervention is through the application of education through criminal justice implementation in order to raise awareness among prisoners and their families in connection to mental health issues. This includes the idea of teaching them the importance of managing emotions in an attempt to reduce the stigma associated with the issue. The aim of this move is to ensure that they are to cope with their current emotions while understanding the importance of a correction facility with the help of trained police officials. Training staff to effectively handle serious cases of mental illness is important in ensuring that mentally challenged inmates are well handled.
Training should be applied to all staff in order to help them understand when to raise health concerns regarding the problem. Throughout my observation, I noticed one fact that individuals that have serious mental illness due to the long-term effect of their behavior in most cases are locked in their rooms for long periods of time. This is to avoid violent cases that might emerge due to factors related to their general unsettled behaviors. The other observation I was able to make is how these people have been affected not only mentally, but also physically and in terms of behavior. According to research by Daifotis (2018, pg. 8 ) 20 percent individuals also, with a long history of substance abuse based on the observation reflected a hard time concentrating, due to cases of mood disorder.
Also, in cases that it was difficult to connect with inmates, in most cases, close family members explained to the victims what it means to be locked up and why it was beneficial for improvement. This means that jail should be considered as the most preferable option for individuals with mental illness, but rather should come up with better ways to handle these people to ensure they get constant access to medication. This calls for the idea of effective treatment of mentally ill inmates rather than using jails and prisons to further strengthen the struggles of these individuals. Conclusion Today, prisons and jails are reporting cases of an increase of mentally challenged individuals. This health problem can be as a result of substance abuse and poor or lack of access to effective medication while in prison.
, Nadel, M. , Reed, C. , & Blomberg, T. G. Recidivism and Inmate Mental Illness. org/d855/68484bd1ac53bf9d32017a48e5c1f19ac325. pdf Lamberti, S. J. , & Weisman, R. L. , Varghese, F. , and Steffan, J. Treating Offenders with Mental Illness: A Research Synthesis. Retrieved from https://www. ncbi. Retrieved from https://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC1414650/ Rooted in Rights, (2015). Serious Mental Illness Prevalence in Jails and Prisons. Retrieved from http://www. treatmentadvocacycenter. org/evidence-and-research/learn-more-about/3695 Vera Institute of Justice, (2018). The Burden of Mental Illness Behind Bars. L. Deinstitutionalization: Its Impact on Community Mental Health Centers and the Seriously Mentally Ill. The Alabama Counseling Association Journal, Vol. Retrieved from https://files. eric. org. uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Mental-health-in-prisons. pdf Daifotis, K.
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