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Increasing Recidivism In Prisons

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Correspondingly, prioritizing rehabilitation programs in American prison systems would greatly reduce the recidivism rate because of the mental health epidemic in these correctional facilities. Today, somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of people in prison are mentally ill, according to U.S. Department of Justice estimates. "Prisons have really become, in many ways, the de facto mental health hospitals," says former prison psychologist Thomas Fagan, PhD. "But prisons weren't built to deal with mentally ill people; they were built to deal with criminals doing time." Straightaway, it is logical to assume that punishing a vast population of the prison system for being born with a mental illness is nonsensical. Nonetheless, according to the Treatment Advocacy Center (TRAC), there are now…show more content…
To demonstrate, in 1971, young men were divided into the roles of Prisoner and Guard and put in a prison-like environment in the basement of the Psychology Department at Stanford University. The study was meant to last two weeks. But the brutality of the Guards and the suffering of the Prisoners was so intense that it had to be terminated after only six days.The study provided a graphic illustration of the power of situations to shape individuals' behaviour. This infamous observation of the animosity between prisoners and their guards is known today as the Stanford Prison Experiment. Craig Haney, PhD, a psychologist at the University of California, notes that when release, inmates have few of the social or occupational skills necessary to succeed in the outside world, consequently, increasing the likelihood of recidivism. Not only is rehabilitation detrimental for the millions of mentally ill inmates, but also the mentally healthy, in order to live their lives outside of the prison
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