1. Why do you think so many people are diagnosed with mental illness in the criminal justice system? Why do you think so many offenders in the criminal justice system suffer from mental illness?
I believe so many are diagnosed with mental illness in the criminal justice system due to their repetitive actions of law breaking. In the beginning, these offenders are unaware a mental illness exists. So many offenders have pre-existing mental illnesses which are untreated; others may acquire a mental illness while incarcerated. This could be due to aging, or an occurrence which takes place in prison such as segregation. Separating humans from and isolating them from any population is not healthy for the psyche.
2. How would you define a successful release from prison?
Defining successful release from prison for anyone necessitates that of supervision and support. Especially those suffering from a mental illness should be supplied with more than a week or two’s worth of medication additionally they should be provided with strict supervision and direct assistance to follow up on their mental health. It is assumed those released with a mental illness will follow up on medications and physiatrist services, yet they often end up homeless and non-medication compliant. This sadly initiates a repetitive offending cycle and they return to prison.
2. According to those who work with the prison population, what factors should exist to ensure a successful release from prison?
According to those working with the prison population, a successful release from prison should include full support or supervision. The transition from prison life is tough enough, thus mentally ill offenders require extra support. The risk for negative behavior is higher without the proper continuing treatment. The treatment includes medication as well as constant follow ups with a physiatrist. Furthermore, therapy should be included on