The inhumane conditions seen in state prisons today eerily mimic many of the same issues seen in state psychiatric institutions prior to the 1970s. These institutions sought to solve the problem off overcrowding by deeming many of them stable enough to leave, even though many of them were not. The patients were placed into group homes instead of hospitals. This caused an influx of people with mental health problems into a society where they could not function. Many of them inevitably ended up committing crimes, pushing them into the
The shutdown of state mental hospitals and lack of available financial and institutional resources force mentally ill people to the United States Judicial System for mental health. Every year thousands of people are arrested for various crimes and they are sent to jail. Sixteen percent of these people have some type of mental health problem (Public Broadcasting System , 2001). When we consider that the United States has the largest incarcerated population in the world at 2.2 million, this number is staggering (Anasseril E. Daniel, 2007). This is about 1% of the entire population of the United States. There are many reasons as to why the situation has taken such a bad turn and when the history of the treatment of mental illness is examined one can see how the situation developed into the inhumane disaster it is today.
Prisons are home to 33,000 mentally ill patients in California, alone. Filling 30 percent of California’s overall prison population, the prisons are becoming unconstitutionally crowded (Source C). In a Federal District Court ruling in Sacramento, “Judge Lawrence Karlton noted that the treatment of the seriously mentally ill continues to violate prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment” (Source C). Poor staffing is not fully to blame for inadequate care, insufficient treatment space, and suicide rates. When President Kennedy began the community mental health centers movement, he deprived the mentally ill of shelter which forced patients to live in the streets (Source A).
Law enforcement officers are authorized by federal, state, and local lawmakers to arrest and confine persons suspected of crimes. The judicial system is authorized to confine persons convicted of crimes. This confinement, whether before or after a criminal conviction, is called incarceration.
One of the most controversial issues regarding the mentally ill and the prison system is the medical treatment received. According to the film, “16% of the prison population in the state of Ohio, which reflects a national average, are persons who have been diagnosed with mental illness.” Prisons began as an institution designed to rehabilitate, however, a vast majority of prisons throughout the country do not provide adequate medical care for their mentally ill inmates. However, the prisons that do possess adequate health care are most likely the first instance in which the inmates with mental illness have received any sort of treatment in their entire life. People with chronic mental illness need constant supervision which they cannot get outside of prison. Although inmates does not receive the most extensive treatment, the treatment they do receive is well beyond the treatment they would have received had they stayed out of the criminal justice system.
California’s prison system is facing a number of infrastructure changes as a result of a judicial decision that came down from the United States Supreme Court, Governor of California et al v. Plata et al. California’s prison system was deemed inadequate and dangerous due to severe overcrowding which led to “needless suffering and death” (Rogan, 2012, 262). The court ruled that the State must reduce the number of inmates in California’s thirty-three state prisons. This ruling came about after two class-action lawsuits were filed, Coleman v. Wilson in 1990 and Plata v. Davis in 2001 (Rogan, 2012, 261). These lawsuits were filed by inmates that claimed they received poor medical and mental health care within the State’s prison health care system (Vicini, 2011,1). The evidence presented in these cases showed several shortcomings in California 's prison health care system (Rogan, 2012, 264).
“In a 2006 Special Report, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) estimated that 705,600 mentally ill adults were incarcerated in state prisons, 78,800 in federal prisons and 479,900 in local jails. Growing numbers of mentally ill offenders have strained correctional systems” (NIC, n.d.). Often times it is wondered why mentally ill offenders are imprisonment time are lengthier than other offenders? Could it be that it may be hard to comprehend and abide by prison and jail rules, or are there not enough facilities to aide their need? Moreover, pretrial offenders with severe mental illness encounter longer imprisonment time than other prisoners in many states, and they would require a mental evaluation assessment to stand trial. “The prevalence of mental illness among offender populations indicates a substantial need for mental health treatment. Today, the largest US jails and prisons hold more people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders than many inpatient psychiatric facilities” (Kim, Becker-Cohen & Serakos, 2015).
New Life Prison is a private prison located in an unincorporated area of Brentwood, CA New Life prison is a dormitory setting and a minimum security prison for level one and two male inmate population of 500. New Life Prison is too focused on lowering the recidivism rate in CA. New Life prison is a new private prison and receives funding from grants and donations. New Life mission is to focus on the level one and two inmate’s within the state prison system. New Life mission is to help these individuals move on passed the crime they have committed and began to live their life again. In 2004 Folsom state prison was able to move their level one and two inmates to a minimum security facility (Department of Correction 2015). Most of these inmates
The United States has the highest rate of adult incarceration among the developed countries, with 2.2 million in jails and prisons. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice found that more than half of all prisons and jail inmates have a mental health problem compared to 11 percent of the general population, yet only one of three prison inmates and one in six jail inmates receive any form of mental health treatment. Those with mental disorders have been increasingly incarcerated during the past three decades. The treatment of severally mentally ill offenders has become an increasingly important and urgent issue because
One century prior, government mental institutions prevented harmful interactions between the mentally ill and the public through involuntary commitment and medication; deinstitutionalization—the closing down facilities and releasing of patients—moved many patients in need of care onto the streets, but we desperately need these facilities. Dr. Fuller E. Torrey, founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center, which works to eliminate barriers for mental illness treatment, concluded that “extensive research on the history of deinstitutionalization by various individuals and organizations have shown increase in jail population inversely related to the population of psychiatric institutions; as patients decreased, prisoners increase” ("The Release of
"The most common rate is 90%, though some prisons are able to snag a 100% promise from their local governments" (Mathews 2). Contracts stating the minimum capacity rate of the prison between the government and private prisons exist for all private prisons, which seems sensible because how else would the company guarantee profits. However the quotas these contracts call for presents a problem because "[w]hile incarceration statistics have skyrocketed, crime rates have increased much more slowly" (Smith 3). A cause for the rise in jailed rates is the quota presented by the private prison industry. Private prisons seek not to reform prisoners, but to increase profits, and so these prisons run like businesses. The largest private prison corporation, Corrections Corporation of America, have uncomprependle
Defendant Smith has been arrested for possession of enough ecstasy for two hits and has admitted to using alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana in the past. Clearly this indicates that he has a drug problem. However, he has no prior criminal record, has held down a job in construction for the past two years, and has a child for whom he must pay child support. He has fallen behind as of late and may be tied to his drug abuse, for which he has never received counseling or treatment. Give that he has never received treatment, has a job, and a child to support, I would recommend that he be placed into a Drug Court Program.
America loves to claim they`re the beacon of freedom throughout the world and yet ironically, it has the highest prison population in the world. According the ACLU, America, which only makes up 5% of the world’s populace, holds nearly 25% of the world’s inmates, surpassing Russia. This doesn`t add up when compared to the statistics. If crime rate is at a low, why is the prison population so high? What is contributing to the mass incarceration across the nation? Well, with the evidence presented, it would appear that the private sector is the main contributor to this new American pandemic and more specifically, the privatization of prisons
Michel Foucault is a very famous French intellectual who practiced the knowledge of sociology. Foucault analyzed how knowledge related to social structures, in particular the concept of punishment within the penal system. His theory through, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, is a detailed outline of the disciplinary society; in which organizes populations, their relations to power formations, and the corresponding conceptions of the subjects themselves. Previously, this type of punishment focused on torture and dismemberment, in which was applied directly to bodies. Foucault mentions through his literary piece, “the soul is the effect and instrument of a political anatomy: the soul is the prison of the body (p.30). However, today, the notion of punishment involves public appearances in a court and much more humane sentences. However, it is important to note and to understand the idea of power and knowledge; it is fundamental to understand the social system as a whole.
While, the issue of the incarcerated population having the privilege of this scarce medical resources is extensively and generally approved or compelling recognition within the correctional health profession and there is a case-law supporting the matter of concern, that the statues of a person as an inmate must not preclude such person as a patient from receiving adequate care in respect to serious health needs, regardless of the cost of such treatment. They also have all the social and moral values since the law does not exempt them from citizenship (Puisis, 2006, p.23).