Mentally Ill In Prison

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An estimated one in four of all adult Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. These mental disorders can range anywhere from mild mood disorders to extreme, uncontrollable cases of schizophrenia. Criminals who have been found guilty for committing a crime may have difficulty with both serving the punishment and recovering from their mental disease because of the sentence given to them. Often times, this sentence is crippling for the mentally ill individuals, as a prison is not an ideal place at all for patients with inner problems-- a prison would actually make the individual’s condition worse. The major problem here arises when these individuals with mental health issues cannot make that progress to better themselves…show more content…
However, there aren’t many options when it comes to treatments for mentally ill patients, and often times, the wrong treatment is elected. After mental institutions are adequately funded, the next step is to safely transfer those who are mentally ill found in jails and hospitals to these new sanctuaries. Studies have shown that, “Alternative-to-incarceration program for adults with serious mental illnesses are also very important. Individuals who go through them, on average, spend less time in jail and get more comprehensive treatment.” (Louison.) This process of simply choosing alternatives rather than keeping the patients incarcerated is effective. This also decreases the risk of dangerous occurrences happening to the public-- once these patients are finally allowed to return, of course, they are less likely to behave in ways that may harm themselves or someone else. In order to fully maximize the potential of the program, it is crucial that proper tests are administered to assure the patient’s true need for such programs. These tests should include morality tests, in which a simulated scenario allows their decisions to be projected for others to see. This would also defend this 3-step process against the idea that many criminals may plead mentally insane to avoid a more extensive punishment that they may actually deserve. Furthermore, the staff employed by these new mental…show more content…
Jails and prisons have become society’s primary mental institution, and yet, it does not have sufficient funding to fulfill that role adequately. These mentally ill patients wind up in solitary confinement, which is a terrible punishment for criminals in the correctional facilities who do not follow the rules. Jamie Fellner, who is a senior advisor at the Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization that researches and supports human rights and is the author of "Callous and Cruel: Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in U.S. Jails and Prisons", reports on the subject with the same idea, “When they fail to follow the rules or are disruptive, officers often respond by placing them in solitary confinement – a toxic environment for most people, but especially those prone to psychosis or depression.” If we as a society continue to allow mentally ill criminals in prisons to be thrown into a lonely room for extended amounts of time, we are giving up on those people who ultimately need help. With the proper steps, well-organized facilities, and a caring staff, these criminals can grow towards being acceptable

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