Mental Illness And Mental Health

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Mental Illness Mental illness has been the most overlooked issue in society today let alone within prisons. Researcher Lurigio (2001) explored studies from the 1970’s through to the 2000’s on the deinstitutionalization and restructuring of mental health laws that basically channeled the mentally ill into the corrections system. Often mentally ill offenders are released into community care. Lurigio emphasized that community based care “compartmentalizes” mentally ill offenders and creates limitations on whom they treat. This creates yet another gap within the corrections system for offenders to fall into. Those who require treatment may not get what they need because community care can only treat so much. These “missed” offenders are often the most serious and chronic. Not only are these ex-offenders lacking proper treatment but also often times the processing time for health care is extremely long because insurance companies discover the offender’s mental health records. Lacking suitable health care for mentally ill offenders released from prison leads only to homelessness, joblessness, and eventually further substance abuse. The drug world is often all these offenders know and cannot be expected to know how to live any other way without proper instruction and assistance from the corrections department. Unemployment Ex-offenders have always had a difficult time finding and securing jobs after release. Petersilia (2005) touched on unemployment and stated that
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