Police are routinely cast into conditions in which they have to recognize and quickly adapt to situations involving mentally ill suspects. This may be the reason police officers are known as “streetcorner psychiatrists, de facto mental health service providers, or psychiatrist in blue.” Some studies report that ten percent of all police contacts are with people with a serious mental illness. Other studies report that people with a serious mental illness represent six to eight percent of all state prisoners, while other data claims that over half of state prisoners have a serious mental illness. Further, people with a serious mental illness will spend more time incarcerated than people who do not have a serious mental illness. In all, police officers are the gatekeepers to the criminal justice and sometimes to the mental health systems; thus, they should have adequate CIT training to aid them in distinguishing criminal behavior from psychosis
241-64. Web. 15 Oct. 2015. Recently, the issue of treating mentally ill inmates while they serve time for the crimes they committed has become a very prevalent topic (Glazer n.pag.). Because budget cuts have caused many mental health institutions to shut down, court and law officials have been led to place these mentally ill offenders in jails that do not have the equipment and staff necessary to help treat them (Glazer n.pag.).
However, is incarceration the answer to who society deems a menace, absolutely not. The overrepresentation of men and women of color, and people incarcerated for drug offenses are the effect of some changes that were made in the list forty years. Most of the people who are in prison are in prison for a reason, and that reason is because of sentencing policy. It is worth mentioning the jail and prison is sometimes the answer, however it should not be the answer for some low-level offenders. The recent laws and policy are the reasons why the prison and jail population have increased, and why people stay for longer.
This year has been a difficult year for the criminal justice system of Texas. From the multiple police brutality incidents to people dying police custody that shouldn’t. With the one of the highest percentage of its citizens incarcerated, we can start to see why people feel like the Texas Criminal Justice system has failed them. The plea bargain is just one example that the people feel like the justice system has failed them. I personally feel that even with all of Texas Criminal Justice system’s faults, I feel like Texans can come together to make the necessary changes to make better adapted to the newer generations morals.
Most people in the United States each year go the prison and keep there for non-violent crime, such as drug related offenses. This issue has affected many family’s life for many years and caused the prisoners to deprive from many of their rights. Lacking the appropriate policies for keeping drug related offenses in prison has been a public health crisis and created a new addiction, like penchant for locking people up in prison. The author in this article “prison addiction: why mass incarceration policies must change.” discusses about lacking the appropriate policies for incarceration for non-violent drug related offenses. In this regard, he points that this issue has been part of public health crisis, and many families live in poverty with
“We need to focus on recovery.” The Stepping Up Initiative recognizes how mental illnesses are placing additional burdens on the jail, Commissioner Scott Wiggam said. In the 1980s, there was a concerted effort to move people from institutions into communities with the understanding money would flow to the communities to address the issue. “Communities have been trying to deal with this for the past 40 years,” Wiggam said. When people are dealing with mental illnesses and addictions, it creates further strains on the system, Obrecht indicated. “Drugs mask mental illness,” Smedley said.
Thousands of people would not benefit from outpatient treatment and often found themselves under-employed, homeless, victims of crime, in nursing homes, in residential treatment homes, in a correctional facility, and more likely to suffer from substance abuse disorders. These compounding factors are the foundation of the phenomenon called “Criminalization of the Mental Ill.” People with a serious mental illness are more likely to be arrested, incarcerated, and sentenced to more time than those not suffering from a mental illness. Contrary to stereotypes, people with a serious mental illness are more likely to be a victim of a crime. Even if the concept of diverting potential clients to alternative community programs was created at the inception of deinstitutionalization, it was not implemented into the criminal justice system until 1988 when the first Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) was developed. The Memphis Police Department developed the program after one of its officers shot and killed a man who suffered from a mental illness.
In addition to the negative purpose of a retributive punishment system, the current prison conditions help explain why this model is severely damaging to convicts. The United States prison condition is plagued with brutal violence, increased rate of sexual abuse, mistreatment of convicts, and overcrowding of prisons at an alarming rate. This coincides with the retributive-model, considering this dogma fails to view these criminal offenders as socially ill individuals and leading to extensive imprisonment periods. In 2005, a research was conducted about the current prison condition in the U.S. Results showed that “the population of convicts has risen by nearly 4x in the last 20 years, accumulating close to 2 million convicts” (Jeffrey Smith,
Mass Incarceration and Minority Communities Mass incarceration within the United State of America is a controversial topic in politics today because of the negative effects it has on minority communities. “The United States leads the world in the percentage of its population that serves time in prison or jail.1,2 As of 2012, nearly 7 million men and women are on probation, parole, or under some other form of community supervision, which means that nearly 3% of the American adult population is currently involved in correctional supervision,” (Hatzenbuehler, Keyes, Hamilton, and Uddin, 2015). How does it affect the minority communities? According to the NAACP’s website “African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008,
Beside restorative justice, mass incarceration acts as another solution to decrease the amount of crime, yet it should be limited. There has been a longstanding debate over the effectiveness of correctional institutions. Some argue that incarceration deters offenders while others argue that the experience of being incarcerated causes individuals to continue in their life of crime. According to Bruce Western, a professor of sociology and director of the Malcolm Wiener Center, the drastically increase amount of incarceration resulted from problems such as harming prisoners, families, and social groups. He indicates, “Black are seven times more likely to be incarcerated than whites, and large racial disparities can be seen for all age groups and
So, without the psychotherapists for example, twisting life happenings into traumatic events and diagnosing the patient with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) the person might not get over their “haunting” experience. Zur also analyzes occurrences surrounding the September 11th attack in NYC. Firstly, he explains that the “United States was viewed by many therapists as a country of victims where nightmares, fears and PTSD diagnoses were as common as the water we drink” (par. 4) and contrary to terrorist attacks, many places all over the world experience worse traumas than what Americans faced, such as famine and natural disasters. Secondly, he states that so called U.S. victims merely
In 2012, almost seven thousand inmates were serving life sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles (603). Sentencing and correctional facilities were not insusceptible to the confusion of the times, but also faced additional inconvenience. Sentencing research uncovered major discretion and something unlike anything they have ever seen before, resulting in negative punishments for minorities. The conditions in prisons led to fights and the death/injury of inmates and staff. Crime rates rising, social disobedience, and drug use increasing has alarmed many people (Mackenzie 2013 4).
Mental Health and Prisons An estimated 450 million people worldwide suffer from mental or behavioral disorders. These disorders are pretty common within prison populations. This extremely high rate of mental disorders in prison is closely related to several factors: the misconception that all people with mental disorders are a danger to the public, the failure to promote treatment, care, and rehabilitation, and the lack of access to mental health services. Many of these disorders are present before prison however, mental health disorders can also be developed during imprisonment due to human rights violations. From overcrowding, various forms of violence, enforced solitude, lack of privacy, concerns about the future, and inadequate health services in prisons its no secret that the mentally ill are mistreated and fallen through the cracks of the system.
Research shows that "jails and prisons have cultures that often lead to maladaptive behaviors in offenders with SMI that subsequently undermine treatment, both in and out of incarceration setting" (Swann & James, 2008, p. 262). Indicating from the authors, people cannot adapt successfully to such places, but a high number of individuals will have difficulties and most likely will display symptoms of maladaptation in these settings. If drug use is considered a maladaptive behavior impacting incarceration, it is entirely possible the prison environment indirectly encourages
The research concluded that a number of prisoners that were confined actually had no business being incarcerated. Why? They suffered from a mental illness, which resulted in some sort of criminal act that resulted in being incarcerated. For example “In 1972 Marc Abramson, a psychiatrist in San Mateo County, published a study reporting a 36 percent increase in mentally ill prisoners in the county jail and a 100 percent increase in mentally ill individuals judged to be incompetent to stand trial” (Torrey, Kennard, Elsinger, Lamb, & Pavle, (2010), p. 2). There was a prison cliché back in the 1970’s that stated “break their spirit, just don’t break their bones”, and that was the kind of atmosphere that prevailed in the prison system.