Mental Disorders Within The Criminal Population

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Introduction Mental illness has always had its place in history. For the people in today’s society, mental disorders are much easily treated allowing for a more normal living. Yet, not all individuals are able to be diagnosed with such disorders often causing negative behaviors. For low level offenders this is often the case. Nearly 20 percent of state and local jail detainees have a history of mental disorders; this percetage can increase considering that about 61.5 million adults are affected with such disorders (James & Glaze, 2013). Also to be considered are the co-occuring disorders that plague mental illness such as drug and alcohol abuse (Ogloff, et al. 2015). It is not suprising that many low level offenders suffer from or…show more content…
Therefore we have to ask ourselves, what is the best way to handle low level offenders who suffer mental illness in the criminal justice system? This study was created to see if it is perceived that mentally ill low level offenders are being jailed inapppropriately. Brief History of Mental Illness The understanding of mental illness in society has come a long way since before Christ’s time. In the past mental illness was thought of as demonic possessions and or religious penance (Foerschner, 2010). It was Hippocrates who began to treat mental illness as a disorder and not a supernatural phenomenon (PBS, 2015). Yet, treatment of people with mental disorders in the past was not done in a humanistic manner though asylums or mental health facilities were built in order to provide care for them. These facilities gave way for developing frowned upon psychiatric treatments such as lobotomies and shock therapies which further disabled cognitive control (Freeman, 2015). Mental disorders at the time were associated with terms like lunacy, melancholies and hysteria but with time these disorders have been studied and categorized to broader groupings such as but not limited to Major Depression Disorders, Autism, Schizophrenia, Substance –Related and Addictive Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, and Personality Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Nowadays people who have mental disorders have the ability to receive treatment for mental
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