Mental Illness In Prison Analysis

Improved Essays
Since 2002, the United States has had the highest incarceration rate in the world and it is continuing to increase. According to a recent analysis approximately 2.2 million people are currently incarcerated and of these 2 million, 40 percent suffer from a mental illness. (Aufderheide, 2014) The question of whether these criminals should be placed into mental health institutions or serve their time in prison has been unanswered. Criminals that are diagnosed with mental illnesses that are placed in prison, are assessed to identify what care is needed for them individually. This assessment allows for the physicians in the prison to prescribe medication, but this is the extent of the care that mentally ill inmates receive in prisons. Hospital-level …show more content…
Forcing prisoners into these environments is not healthy for them taking into consideration their mental state. Large portions of inmates that are incarcerated are not properly diagnosed; therefore their treatment cannot be determined or is one that is ineffective. Mental disorders can range from mild to severe and the environment of a prison has the tendency to amplify their conditions. The severity of their condition also determines the severity of the nervous breakdown that an inmate can have. A nervous breakdown can result in violent outrages resulting in harm done to other prisoners, guards or even harm to themselves. Multiple studies have shown that inmates who are seriously mentally ill commit nearly half of all inmate suicides. This is an increasing statistic throughout correctional facilities across America. Police officers and prison guards are not receiving training in regards to interacting and managing individuals with mental disorders. Also due to the privacy restrictions, most officers do not know the health histories of prisoners. This lack of training and knowledge is a contributing factor to the decline of a mentally ill inmate’s disorder. In a recent study done by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, it shows that without proper hospitalization symptoms worsen and lead inmates to behave in disruptive and unusual ways. (Fuller, 2015) These episodes leave them vulnerable to being beaten, raped, and victimized not only by other prisoners but also by the guards as well in some cases. Although those who are convicted of felonies may be criminals, they have rights as human beings and being safe while being treated for their disease is one of them. Coping and working through a mental disorder is not “an easy way out” as some of the non-supporters would consider it to be. A mental hospital is the appropriate place for anyone with a mental illness, whether

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    There are many situations that prison guards cannot even control mental health prisoners. For this kind of situation, no one knows the solution. Not only mentally ill prisoners suffer in prion, but also prisons guards suffer to deal with prisoners who have mental heal…

    • 1640 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The lack of treatment to this area makes criminal actions take place such as minor crimes but also major crimes involving violence. There are two main types of personality disorders: paranoid personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. All of the mental health issues create negative effects on people due to the lack of medical treatment that eventually leads to criminal actions. Mental health issues, such as mood disorders, are negatively affecting people around the world due to the lack of medical treatment to this field which results in criminal actions. A specific mood disorder that is causing crime due to lack of medical treatment is depression.…

    • 1894 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    These forms of care in conjunction with educational programs on life skills are essential to helping offenders desist from crime. Due to the overcrowding it is not possible to offer all resources to individuals, or it is not possible to effectively offer the resources. Often times healthcare is rushed and the proper time and care is not given to inmates due to the high workload of the providers in the institutions. Research suggests that a vast majority, 65% of inmates have some form of mental illness and 70% have previous or current substance abuse issues and only 1 of 3 inmates in need are receiving care in prisons and that statistic falls to 1 in 6 in jails (Hoke, 2015). Due to the large number of inmates who require care only a fraction of them are actually able to get…

    • 1551 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Prisoners In Prisons

    • 984 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Many prisoners that reside in the United States are not being treated fairly. The treatment that some prisoners in the US receive violates the Eighth Amendment, the amendment that strongly goes against using cruel and unusual punishment when it comes to punishing someone. And with prisons being overcrowded many prisoners have poor living arrangements where there are thirteen people or more in one room. (“Prisoners’ Rights:”). This shows that some prisoners are being denied basic human rights and that the prison is no longer a place where a criminal could do their time and rehabilitate.…

    • 984 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Mental Illness In Prison

    • 1015 Words
    • 5 Pages

    By definition, mental illness is “an affliction with a mental disease or mental condition which is manifested by a disorder or disturbance in behavior, feeling, thinking, or judgment to such an extent that the person afflicted requires care, treatment and rehabilitation” (Hall, Miraglia, Lee, 2011). This definition of mental illness provides a broad overview of what many individuals in our society are dealing with every day. Although it may be seen as a problem in mainstream society, it is often overlooked in prison. Upwards of 61 percent of prisoners who committed a violent offense suffer from mental illness (CITE). This highlights the fact that mental illness is a huge problem in prison that needs to be dealt with.…

    • 1015 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Mental Illness In Prisons

    • 1028 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Some inmate’s target the weak, and the inmates that need help would become easy prey. If an inmate even looks at an ill person it is a summon that he is targeting that person. For some passions is even worse do to the fact they don’t have any type of memory of their crime that they have done. Prisons are not really set up for ill people. More the half the prison population is of inmates with some…

    • 1028 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Introduction Mental illnesses are some of the least publicly accept illnesses being widely demonized by those who do not understand them. In the past those afflicted with mental illness locked up and hidden away from the public; patients at psychiatric hospitals were treated worst than animals. People with mental illnesses often do not receive the support that those with physical illnesses receive because their afflictions are not externally apparent. There are some who choose to believe that people with mental illnesses are faking and simply just want the attention or that these illnesses can be cured by nothing more than a simple change of minded. Because of society harsh views many individuals with mental illnesses feel ashamed of them self,…

    • 1487 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    “The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that 6.6 percent of people serve time in prison at some point in their lives, and the statistic rises to a shocking 32 percent for African-American men” (Villines). The African-American community has devastatingly high rates when compared to the general population. This may seem as though it goes against the most basic human right to equality, and in some cases it does, but it can also be explained by the fact that blacks are 7 to 10 times more likely to commit violent crimes than whites (Bandler). “A report of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (Lotke) indicated that in the District of Columbia, 50 percent of young black men ages 18 to 35 were under criminal justice supervision” (Gostin). These numbers are disproportionate to the crime rates so there is some racial discrimination.…

    • 1336 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Mental Health System Fault

    • 1096 Words
    • 5 Pages

    One of the difficulties lies in convincing people to trust the system because, “Today, deinstitutionalization is viewed by most experts as a policy failure, and the mental health system more broadly is recognized as unable to meet the needs of persons with SMI”(Teich). This results in new issues such as, “The dramatic and continuing reduction in the number of impatient state psychiatric beds in recent decades [is] a source of concern and alarm among many observers in the field”(Teich). A person who is severely mentally ill can rarely be placed in an institution that they need. Families who can win the struggle to convince a patient to receive care cannot get them into the treatment that they need. The old mental health care system allowed family members to have a loved one put into an institution were they could receive the care they needed.…

    • 1096 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Drug users make up a large group of inmates in United States prisons. ; the Bureau of Justice says about 16 percent of inmates in state prisons and 47 percent of inmates in federal prisons were incarcerated for drug-related crimes, and 65 percent of them meet medical criteria that can signify drug addiction, that is about 883,269 prisoners addicted to drugs (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse). Drug users are costing the United States millions of dollars a year just to be housed in jail for their addiction, whereas if drug addicts were sent to rehab the cost would immensely decrease. According to State Commission on Criminal Sentencing, Maryland has reduced the price of each inmate from $20,000 annually to $4,000 annually by reinstating them into rehab programs. Subsequently, a change in the United…

    • 1434 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays