Essay about Prevalence of Mental Illness in our Criminal Justice System

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The Prevalence of Mental Illness in our Criminal Justice System
Mental Illness has been prevalent all throughout our history from Isaac Newton to Abraham Lincoln to Sylvia Plath and so on. These illnesses can be as minor as a slight bipolar disorder or as severe as schizophrenia. In recent years, mental illnesses are becoming more prevalent in our criminal justice systems than anywhere else. Mental illness is becoming an association with crime and based on the information that has been found, this paper will attempt to further define the problem of mental illness within our criminal justice system and offer alternatives or insights as to how to possibly help with this problem.
Literature Review
In the United States alone,
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But, why is it that these numbers are increasing in jails and prisons? According to the study “Mentally Ill Inmates: Financial Impacts and Opportunities for the Future” by Nancy A. DeFerrari, the number of beds for mentally ill individuals has decreased significantly in the last 30 or so years. She states that the number has decreased from close to 600,000 in the 1960s to about 40,000 or less presently. DeFerrari also makes the point that just because the beds for these people are decreasing, does not mean that the number of these individuals are too.
As a whole, literature on the topic of mental illness in our country and specifically in our criminal justice system had a reoccurring theme. There are millions of individuals who suffer from mental illness but are improperly being handled through the criminal justice system. These individuals are deemed criminal just by their acts and their mental health state is not overly examine. Jails and prisons are being overcrowded. State prisons and jails are overpopulated anywhere from 15 to 32% (Spending Money in All the Wrong Places: Jails & Prisons).
My Position Mental illness is one problem that will most likely never go away. Our population gets bigger by the day and more and more people are being diagnosed with mental illnesses every hour. Even with this being true, we are continuing to shut down mental health facilities, decrease funding, and so on. Instead, we leave these people to their own. With the large
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