Unfair America: Mentally Ill Inmates

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Composition II Unfair America: Mentally Ill Inmates Individuals suffering from mental illnesses tend to fall victim to the criminal justice system due to their uncontrollable actions that result from their mental illness symptoms. Within the United States two to three hundred thousand people in prison suffer from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, severe depression, and bipolar disorder. Sadly, the majority of prisons are deficient in providing the appropriate resources to treat these individuals; people with mental illnesses are too frequently socially mistreated, neglected, and misunderstood within the confines of a prison. Prisons are deficient in correctional staff trained to suit mentally ill inmates, in appropriate conditions of confinement, and in proper medical care to help mentally ill inmates recuperate back to a state suitable for society. Through this inexperienced care mentally ill prisoners are constantly suffering from their agonizing symptoms and further digressing from the society which they would otherwise be able to cope with if treated properly. Fortunately for the United States and the communities it encompasses, solutions are available and possible to institute within our prisons to treat these mentally ill individuals, which will benefit our society as a whole and end the avoidable suffering faced by these individuals and their family and friends. The cause of the immense number of mentally ill prisoners is directly associated with the lack of community health services and the stringent criminal justice system in the US. During the 1960s, mental health hospitals all throughout the US were shut down in attempts to deinstitutionalize this sect of medicine and form community based health centers in their replacement. Unfortunately after the deinstitutionalization of the mental health hospitals, the community based centers were never properly instituted; this left thousands of mentally ill individuals untreated



References: (n.d.): n. pag. Rpt. in When Is Someone Sane Enough to Die? 3rd ed. Vol. 22. New York: American Bar Association, 2007. 30-41. Print Abramsky, Sasha, and Jamie Fellner. "II. Recommendations." Ill-equipped: U.S. Prisons and Offenders with Mental Illness. New York: Human Rights Watch, 2003. 9-24. Print. Treating Mental Illness Makes Sense." Treating Mental Illness Makes Sense. Mental Health Association in NC, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. Ackerman, Jenn. "Article." Ackerman Gruber. N.p., 2012. Web. 11 Dec. 2012 "United States: Mentally Ill Mistreated in Prison | Human Rights Watch." United States: Mentally Ill Mistreated in Prison | Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch, 22 Oct. 2003. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.

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