Female Prisoners With Mental Health Issues

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Multiple sources confirm that the population of female prisoners is rapidly increasing in the United States. The population now far exceeds one million prisoners (Bloom & Covington, 2008) (Lewis, 2000). It is pertinent to recognize the group of female offenders with mental illness; they are a group that is seldom considered when pondering societal groups relating to communication. Through substantial research, several issues that ail this community have been distinguished and can be connected to communication, as this work will reveal. Some of these issues include the reality of self-harm, histories of sexual and physical abuse, and aggressive behavior. Through the review of literature related to female prisoners with mental health…show more content…
Lord, the author of “The Challenges of Mentally Ill Female Offenders in Prison.” Lord discusses the need for attention to be directed toward inmates suffering from mental illness. The journal notes that many reactive signs of some mental illness may include self-harm, rule breaking, and aggression, which can lead to segregation in prison rather than treatment for mental illness. Lord emphasizes the need for special settings or programs and treatment to accommodate the mentally ill (Lord, 2008). Unfortunately minimal data exists about the current prevalence of psychiatric disorders ailing the large population of female prisoners with mental health issues, other than data from years in the past. Lewis explains that the lack of current data impacts the difficulty of addressing the various needs of inmates through the development of new programs (Lewis, 2000). Many of the journal articles within this review address treatment for female inmates with mental health needs. Literature Review Addressing Mental Illness It has already been established that the prison population for female offenders is growing, but the complexity of the population is changing as well. Special populations make up the group of female offenders, specifically including middle-aged inmates, physically ill inmates, and of course mentally ill inmates (Lewis, 200). The pathology of these women vary, many struggle or previously struggled with substance abuse, psychosis,
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