Should Inmates Offenders Be Treated? Prisons And Prisons?

1258 Words Feb 16th, 2015 6 Pages
There has been an concern with mental health professionals about the increasing number of mentally disordered inmates in jails and prisons. There are approximately 356,000 inmates in jails and state prisons with mental illnesses (Torrey, Zdanowicz, & Kennard, 2014). Many researchers are debating if mentally disordered inmates should be treated in prisons and jails, or if they are not equipped to care for them at all. While jails tend to house inmates sentenced with short terms, prisons house convicted and sentenced offenders serving more than 1 year. With the longer time of incarceration, prisons provide more of an opportunity for inmates to receive mental health assessments, diagnosis, and treatment (James & Glaze, 2006). It is crucial that they receive proper treatment while in prison or jail to prevent worsening of their illness.
Secondly, due to continuing closure of state psychiatric hospitals and the lack of mental health officials available to provide aftercare for the released patients, the return rate amongst mentally ill offenders is increasing. Nearly a third (32%) of jail inmates and an estimated 47% of prisoners with mental health issues are repeat offenders and are also imprisoned longer than regular inmates, causing overcrowding. Prison and jail officials not only have limited options, such as treatment, they lack equipment and training to deal with the thousands of mentally ill inmates (Torrey et al., 2014). This leaves officials with relying on pepper…

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