Treatment of Mentally Ill Prisoners

Topics: Infectious disease, Psychiatry, Drug addiction Pages: 4 (1336 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Mental Ill Inmates

By: Richelle Williams
June 11, 2013
Theory and Practice of Correction
Professor: Michael Bryant

In the United States we have the highest rate of adult incarceration. With nearly 2.2 million incarcerated, inmates with mental health illnesses have been increasing year after year, (Daniel, 2007). The correctional system has been transformed into the mental asylum for the modern day. The American Association urges prisons to develop procedures for properly handling inmates with special needs. These inmates suffer from a wide variety of illness such as mental illnesses, communicable diseases, and chemical dependency. These illnesses require a different form of treatment in order to be considered rehabilitated. Mentally ill inmates are a rising problem within the correctional system that cannot be ignored. The correctional system has been experiencing a great deal of difficulties in identifying and providing treatment to the mentally ill inmates, (Wettstein, R. 1995). About 15% of inmates in city, county jails and as well as state prisons have a mental illness, (Wettstein, R. 1995). Mentally ill people don’t believe they are ill. It is not any different for inmates with illnesses. They feel they do not have a problem and do not need to be fixed. A way to help them is by providing them an intensive, structured treatment that can help them control themselves and act normal. Structured activities can range from providing staff members to give them their medication, maintaining a high ratio of staff to inmates on a regular basis can help with their treatment as well, (Lamb, 2011). Treatments that has been proven to work for severely mentally ill inmates are therapeutic activities, being placed in intensive community programs and even being locked up in psychiatric hospitals.

There can be problems with treatment of the inmates due to shortage of mental health resources and funding, (Lamb, 2011). Staff members...

References: Arizona Department of Corrections: Inmate Health Services (2013). Communicable Disease and Infection Control. Retrieved on June 8, 2013 from
Bick Joseph, (2007) Infection Control in Jails and Prisons. Clinical Infections Diseases 48 (8): 1047-1055
Daniel, Abasseril, (2007). Care of Mentally Ill in Prisons: Challenges and Solutions. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 34:4:406-410
Detoxification of Chemically Dependent Inmates, (2009). Retrieved on June 9, 2013 from
Lamb, Richard (2011). Meeting the Needs of Those Persons With Serious Mental Illness Who Are Most Likely to Become Criminalized. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law. Vol. 39 no. 4 549-554
Nolan, Kate (2012). “The Prison System and Its Relation to Communicable Diseases Presence in the United States.” Retrieved on June 9, 2013 from
Residential Substance Abuse Treatment: Making a Difference in Arizona (2006). Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. Retrieved on June 8, 2013 from
Wettstein, Robert, (1998). Treatment of Offenders with Mental Disorders. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication
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