Mental Illness In Prison

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Is mental illness a felony and how should the issue addressed in prison? Various factors over recent decades have led to the decline in available psychiatric heath care in the United States. Subsequently, the mentally impaired are being treated in our nation’s prison system which has created strain on the prison mental health care systems as a whole. In 1985, the total number of inmates in custody was 744,208 according to a Gilliard and Beck 1997 state justice statistic. At the end of 2007, U.S. prisons and jails held over 2.4 million persons, a significant number of whom had mental disorders, a statistic found in Charles Scott’s Handbook Of Correctional Mental Health. The increase in numbers has lead to overcrowding, inadequate mental health …show more content…
They may affirm the state allows them adequate food, water, and other basic necessities that offer physical wellbeing. Providing these resources invests an egregious amount of tax payer dollars currently, that the addition of better health care will cost far too much. Criminals need time alone in solitary confinement as punishment for their crimes against society, and don’t deserve counseling for internal issues. They could argue these criminals simply feign mental illness to receive lesser federal punishment furthermore; criminals will commit more crimes once released from prison. These statements contain varying amounts of truth, however mentally ill criminals on average “not only are they sent to jail rather than diverted to treatment; they end up “spending more time in jail because they’re sick,” said Doris Fuller, one of the authors of the study.”, which puts strain on the individual, the prison system, and It is more difficult for these individuals to reenter society as productive individuals.
Issues concerning mental health in the prison system have long prevailed in the United States a practice often dubbed the criminalizing the mentally ill. In Scott’s Handbook Of Correctional Mental Health, he appeals to the providers of psychiatric health care in prisons. He gives a detailed history of why there are so
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Due to the increase in budget cutbacks facilities that treat these patients are experiencing great stress. In Macready’s "US Faces Crisis in Mental Health Care for Juvenile Offenders," she explains the case of a child who has many temperament issues, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a mild case of mental retardation but has no record of treatment. Similarly like this child according to Macready “there are roughly 60,000 young offenders in the American juvenile prison system,” and “adolescents in detention and correctional facilities are about ten times more likely to have psychosis than the general adolescent population,”(Macready) increasing the amount of mentally ill in our nations correctional facilities unable to function under normal conditions. These children often stay in the correctional system due to the development of these mental illnesses into adulthood. Due to large budget cutbacks and increasing amounts of children in these juvenile prison systems it has become more difficult to