1 in 10 children, aged 5 - 16 suffer from a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder, equivalent to three children in every class (Green et al, 2005). This does not include the 1 in 7 children that suffer from less severe mental health problems (Department for Education, 2015). Any mental health issue can lead a young person to lose control over their body and mind. This can lead to abnormal behaviour, criminal actions and uncontrollable urges to harm others (Sue et al, 2015). 95% of imprisoned young offenders have a mental health disorder and many of them are struggling with more than one disorder (Office for National Statistics,
Skeem, Sara Manchak and Jillian K. Peterson (2011) compared males and females in jail who suffer from schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder to the general U.S population. They found that males incarcerated in jail are three times more likely to suffer from schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder than males in the general population and females incarcerated in jail are nearly twice as likely to suffer from schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder as females in the general population. (Skeem, Manchak, Peterson, 2011) Amanda C. Pustilnik (2005) highlighted the findings that more mentally ill individuals are incarcerated in prisons and jails than being treated in mental health care facilities. “Annually, over 300,000 adults and children with mental illnesses many of whom have committed only a public order infraction or no offense at all-are confined in state and federal prisons, jails, and juvenile corrections facilities. A mere 60,000 people with such conditions are treated annually in medical facilities. Thus, for every one person treated in a hospital, about five people are treated, or merely confined, in penal facilities. Prisons have become the largest mental health facilities in the United States.” (Pustilnik, 2005: 226, 227,
In recent years, correctional facilities have begun to experience an influx of inmates who suffer with mental illness. Per Morgan, et al (2011), ?the United States has three times more individuals with severe mental illnesses in prisons than in psychiatric hospitals.? Most prisons in this country aren?t equipped to properly care for the mentally ill persons who enter the facility. Individuals with mental illness are more likely to be placed in prisons rather than a mental health institution to receive help to deal
This research paper discusses the issues of people who suffer from mental illness being placed in jails instead of receiving the necessary treatment they need. The number of inmates serving time in jail or prison who suffer from mental illness continues to rise. In 2015 the Bureau of Justice reported that sixty five percent of state prisoners and fourth five percent of federal prisoners suffered from mental conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Individuals who suffer from these problems require special mental health treatment for their needs to be met. Many of our prisons and jails lack the necessary resources to care for these inmates and because of that inmates who do not receive the treatment they need are at a higher risk of becoming a repeat offender. Despite the research and findings that show that the criminal justice system is unable to deal with issues dealing with the mentally ill there has been limited solutions put in place. Given the challenges the criminal justice system faces it is important to address the problem and come up with better solutions. This research paper will discuss the various techniques and solutions that scholars have propped and their effect on the issue of mentally ill criminals and how the criminal justice system should approach the problem.
The United States criminal justice system has been continuously increasing incarceration among individuals who suffer from a sever mental illness. As of 2007 individuals with severe mental illness were over twice as likely to be found in prisons than in society (National Commission of Correctional Health Care, 2002, as cited in Litschge &Vaughn, 2009). The offenses that lead to their commitment in a criminal facility, in the majority of cases, derive from symptoms of their mental illness instead of deviant behavior. Our criminal justice system is failing those who would benefit more from the care of a psychiatric rehabilitation facility or psychiatric hospital by placing them in correctional facilities or prisons.
In the United States, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 10 to 14-year-olds (CDC, 2015) and for 15 to 19-year-olds (Friedman, 2008). In 2013, 17.0% of students grades 9 to 12 in the United States seriously thought about committing suicide, 13.6% made a suicide plan, 8.0% attempted suicide, and 2.7% attempted suicide in which required medical attention (CDC, 2015). These alarming statistics show that there is something wrong with the way mental illness is handled in today’s society. Also, approximately 21% of all teenagers have a treatable mental illness (Friedman, 2008), although 60% do not receive the help that they need (Horowitz, Ballard, & Pao, 2009).
The number of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system is one of the most pressing problems facing law enforcement and corrections today (Cuellar, McReynolds, & Wasserman, 2006). The Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health estimated that about 20% of children and adolescents in the general population have mental disorders with some degree of at least mild functional impairment (USPH, 1999). Subsequent research has found much higher rates of serious mental health problems among youth in the juvenile justice system. Among youth who have been arrested, one study found that 31% of youth had received services from the mental health system (Rosenblatt, Rosenblatt, & Biggs, 2000). Two studies of youth in juvenile detention found that between 60% and 68% met the diagnostic criteria for a mental health disorder (Teplin, Abram, McClelland, Dulcan, & Mericle, 2002; Wasserman, Ko, & McReynolds, 2004). Once youth with emotional disturbances enter the justice system, repeated arrests are common through the remainder of childhood and into adulthood. Recidivism rates for individuals with a serious mental illness are nearly double those in the general population (Baillargeon, Binswanger, Penn, Williams, & Murray, 2009; Constantine, Petrila, Andel, Givens, Becker et al., 2010). In an analysis of juvenile trajectories, youth with emotional disturbances in their late adolescent years were more likely to fall into the high arrest trajectory class and much
Throughout the years, the United States criminal justice system has been constantly incarcerating individuals who endure from a severe mental illness. People who suffer from serious mental illness are doubtlessly to be discovered in prison. There is a significant amount of mentally ill offenders that are placed in the state and federal institutions. The mentally ill are overpopulating the prisons. The criminal justice system is a deficiency for those who can profit more from the help of mental health treatment center or psychiatric hospital by sending individuals to correctional facilities or prisons. Today’s jails and prisons are being labeled as the new mental health hospitals for the mentally ill offenders. Commonly in today’s society, it generally takes other individuals who are willing to educate and support the mentally ill person into becoming successful in life.
The juvenile justice system faces a significant challenge in identifying and responding to the psychiatric disorders of detained youth because research has shown that it is difficult to define the best means to use and enhance the scarce mental health resources (Kessler & Kraus, 2007). According to Cocozza and Skowyra (2000) “Children’s and adolescents’ mental health needs have historically been addressed inadequately in policy, practice, and research and have only the number of youth with mental illness and their level of unmet needs recognized” (p 4). Furthermore, that the juvenile justice system has gone from treatment and rehabilitation to retribution and punishment, that the prevalence is
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and of that over sixty percent of jail inmates reported having a mental health issue and 316,000 of them are severely mentally ill (Raphael & Stoll, 2013). Correctional facilities in the United States have become the primary mental health institutions today (Adams & Ferrandino, 2008). This imprisonment of the mentally ill in the United States has increased the incarceration rate and has left those individuals medically untreated and emotionally unstable while in jail and after being released. Better housing facilities, medical treatment and psychiatric counseling can be helpful in alleviating their illness as well as upon their release. This paper will
Most of us grow up being taught to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Social workers, especially, are exhorted by their code of ethics to challenge injustice “particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people” (National Association of Social Workers, 2008). So why are as many of 70% of those in local and state juvenile justice systems dealing with their illness in correctional facilities (National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 2016; Shufelt & Cocozza, 2006)? These are the national numbers. So what about in our own state of Virginia? The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) conducted a study of juveniles in detention homes in 2002 and that found that more than 40% of males and almost 60% of females needed mental health services. As many as 7% of the males and 15% of the females needed this assistance urgently (Juvenile Offending, n.d.). Even more disturbing is the fact that nationally up to two out of three of that 70% was actually a dual diagnosis of more than one mental illness, often including a substance abuse disorder. One in five of those same juveniles were so severely disabled by their illness that they were unable to function as a young person and were seriously in danger of not developing into a functional adult (Hammond, 2007). Juveniles are considered more difficult to treat for mental illness due to developmental issues (Hammond, 2007) and rapidly changing biological and mental makeup.
The United States has the highest prison population in the world, with over two million incarcerated (World Prison Brief, 2016), of whom many are juveniles. It is well documented that youths who enter this system are more likely to suffer a host of negative health and lifestyle outcomes, such as alcohol/drug abuse, high school dropout, and mental health problems. Such phenomena occur in stark contrast with the aims of the US juvenile justice system, which supposedly intends to help offending youths re-assimilate back into society as productive citizens. As previously mentioned, incarceration often leads to poor mental health, which when combined with the conditions of confinement significantly raises the rates of suicide and
Each day vast amounts of people with mental disorders are being cycled through the criminal justice system. A recent study shows that approximately twenty percent of prisoners have a mental illness, and out of all of the mentally ill people alive, forty percent of them will serve some sort of jail time in their lifetime. In recent studies, it has also appeared that individuals being incarcerated have more severe types of mental illness, including psychotic disorders and major mood disorders than they did in the past. In fact, according to the American Psychiatric Association, between two and four percent of all inmates in state prisons are estimated to have a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia, thirteen to nineteen percent have severe
Mental health disorders are a significant cause of morbidity in prisons across the United States (U.S). Deinstitutionalization of the state’s mental health system has turned prisons into America’s “new asylums”; it has become a warehouse for the mentally ill. Our U.S prison rehabilitative services are not equipped to provide care and psychological treatment for the mentally ill which allows for these mental illnesses to persist, worsen or even trigger new ones. It can even cause inmates to wind up back in prison upon release for minor offenses. In addition to the lack of resources for these mentally ill individuals, the prison environment also directly affects the mental
The United States has the highest rate of adult incarceration among the developed countries, with 2.2 million in jails and prisons. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice found that more than half of all prisons and jail inmates have a mental health problem compared to 11 percent of the general population, yet only one of three prison inmates and one in six jail inmates receive any form of mental health treatment. Those with mental disorders have been increasingly incarcerated during the past three decades. The treatment of severally mentally ill offenders has become an increasingly important and urgent issue because