Prisoners with Special Needs

1110 Words Jun 7th, 2016 5 Pages
Prisoners with Special Needs
David Stevens
CJS/255
May 30, 2016
Sherri Webster

Special needs, mentally ill, and substance-abusing prisoners affect the jail and prison systems at a state and federal level in a multitude of ways. One of the main issues within prisons is the fact that their mental health services can be seriously inadequate and lacking the proper staffing, all while operating in facilities that are not equipped to handle such prisoners, on top of a limited amount of programs to even help these prisoners with their problems. If these prisoners are not cared for properly, it could lead to deteriorating conditions for the prisoners.
State and Federal Levels are Affected
Jails and prisons are not meant to be home to the
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These conditions generally worsen much faster due to some prisons having these individuals housed in an area in the prison where they have little to no interaction with other people. Solitary confinement is by far the worst thing that could happen to these individuals. This type of segregation due to prison officials thinking these prisoners are a threat can seriously impact the rate at which their condition can worsen. Human Rights Watch (2016) states that “All too frequently, mentally ill prisoners decompensate in isolation, requiring crisis care or psychiatric hospitalization. Many simply will not get better as long as they are isolated. According to one federal judge, putting mentally ill prisoners in isolated confinement "is the mental equivalent of putting an asthmatic in a place with little air....”
Wellness Self-Management Program
The wellness self-management program was started by the Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) in cooperation with the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH) and the New York State Department of Correctional Services (NYSDOCS). This program was implemented in three facilities in New York, namely, Fishkill, Bedford Hills, and Sing Sing Correctional Facilities. The program was designed to help inmates in these facilities to better manage their mental illness by having the participants attend classes in which they…

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