Mental Illness Of The Mentally Ill On Deinstitutionalization

1514 WordsApr 27, 20157 Pages
Mental illness in America has become an increasingly popular topic of discussion. Rather than being placed in hospitals for treatment, mentally ill individuals are being placed into correctional facilities for their actions. Persons with serious mental illness (SMI) such as bi-polar disorder, severe depression, schizophrenia and etc. have trouble within society. Many lack income and stable living arrangements to be able to succeed in the community. Side effects of their illness can enable them to become a part of the criminal justice system. One can blame the criminalization of the mentally ill on deinstitutionalization. Deinstitutionalization began in the 1950s, when state mental hospitals began emptying patients and moving them back into the community. “Deinstitutionalization drew enthusiastic support from fiscal conservatives interested primarily in saving funds by shutting state hospitals, as well as from civil rights advocates who believed that mental patients needed to be “liberated,” (Torrey, Kennard, Eslinger, Lamb, & Pavle, 2010). By the 1970s, there was an increase in the number of mentally ill individuals in jails and prisons. According to Adams and Ferrandino (2008), prison inmates tend to have the same disorders as the inmates in the general population. The most common mental illnesses in the inmate population are depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. In their article, Adams and Ferrandino go into detail about mentally ill offenders in
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