Prison Industrial Complex Case Study

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Module 9 Reading Response Introduction and Questions due November 14, Midnight (4 points)

From the Lecture:
1. What is the Prison Industrial Complex and how does it generate profit?
Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) is private industry that run prisons by using a business model. PIC’s main goal is to generate as much profit as possible. That explains the ongoing expansion of prison. It is not different than any other hotel chain business. PIC generate profit from the prisoners. They receive money for each inmate and the longer they stay in the more money the PIC would make.

2. Do your best to think about the importance of understanding that much of our prisons system is “for profit” when we are studying mental illness in the prison system.
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Our prisons are expanding each year rather than the mental health hospital that would treat mentally ill people. Lack of proper care and treatment, lack of social support pushes mentally ill into the prison system. Other than the shortage of psychiatric beds, mentally ill individuals enter the criminal justice system due to lack of interaction between them and law enforcement persons. When mentally ill is not manageable we place them into the prison. Moreover, the jails are to protect the society. Mentally ill is stigmatized as dangerous and we criminalize and lack mentally ill in prisons to protect the society.

From The New Asylums:
4. The New Asylums has 5 main sections (once you click on “Watch the Full Program Online”). Please watch each section (Therapy inside a Prison, Inmates in Crisis, etc.) and offer a few comments about each section.

Therapy inside
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Problematic people are locked away so they are no longer a problem. However, locking them up for ten years and sending them back to community does not work. It is interesting that there are over 2 million people in US prisons and nearly 500000 of them are mentally ill. More interestingly the rates constantly going up yet we do nothing to prevent that because it makes some folks wealthier.
5. From the New Asylums, please list some of the recurring “themes” and struggles that the inmates experienced.
Most of them refuse to take medication because they think it makes them worse. The inmates come into the prison system already mentally ill and if not mentally ill then there is a big risk becoming mentally ill due to conditions in the prison and isolation. Also, when inmates are released they have nowhere to go, they lack family and community support so they end up coming back to the prison within a couple month. After released from the prison, most inmates stopped their treatment, got worse, and commit a crime.

From Thomas

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