Mental Illness Within The Prison System

928 WordsSep 28, 20154 Pages
Everyday correctional officials work to deal with mental health inmates. Often hotly debated, many search for ways to work with this growing population. Glaze and Bonczar (2009) estimate around 2.3 million people are incarcerated within the US and of those, 20 percent suffer from some form of mental disorder. Even with such a high number, the rate of mental illnesses within the prison system is on the climb. Many of these inmates will remain incarcerated and receive little to no treatment for their mental issues. This essay, will look at the practices associated when dealing with mental illness and discuss the strategies on dealing with this growing issue. The incarceration of those who are mentally ill is on the continual rise. Many states juggle with the decision of placing offenders in Mental Hospital or locating them in State Prisons. Latessa and Holsinger (2011) discuss two major reasons for the increase of those with mental illness within the prison system. First, many states have no longer allow for the insanity plea during criminal trials, thus those who suffer from mental illness are not required to receive mandatory mental treatment. This is due to the discomforting idea that criminal offenders should not be given the same living conditions as those whom are patients of mental wards. Secondly, longer sentences have created a surplus of mentally ill offenders needing treatment. Soderstrom (2007) added that the lack of mental health support systems in
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