Mental Illness and Incarceration

This research paper will discover the mental illness, incarceration and the nature of the prisons in the United States. Mentally ill people are so many in the prisons and their numbers increases substantially. Currently, mentally ill people are crowded behind bars compared to in the mental hospitals.

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When criminals go to prison, they are usually mentally fit, but when their incarceration periods end, they develop the illness (Schizophrenic). This is due to the difficulty in adapting to the correctional system and the confinement. Schizophrenia causes the in ability to process thoughts and even emotion and makes the victim to act in a manner that is not appropriate. Those imprisoned when mentally ill, their conditions of living inside the prison worsens their situations. This is an important topic to research on because it will find out how the people who are mentally ill are over presented to the system of justice. I should therefore be allowed to pursue this research to understand the psychological effects of the solitary confinement and the crisis caused by high incarceration rates as well as the long prison sentences.

In order to understand the effect of crime and mental illness, it is crucial to first now the nature of the lives in the prison. The rooms are small with improper hygiene. Staff is very minimal and of limited time. Also, with the other criminals, conversations are limited. Therefore, more time is spent in isolation. This isolation affects the mental illness and makes the offender dangerous. As mentioned earlier in the text, Torrey, et al, (2010), stated that, many mentally ill individuals are in prison than in the mental hospitals. Some of them obtain the illness from there. There may be an association between a criminal behavior and an illness, and this gives a better explanation on the reason why individuals indulge in criminal activities while others do not. Alternatively, the people suffering from a serious mental illness are overly presented and funneled disproportionally through the channels of the justice system of the criminals and end up in prison (Hartney, 2006).

This research topic is important as it gives enlightenment on the impact of the prison arts workshop. Despite certain costs, some things should be offered in the prisons. The offenders who are mentally ill need special housing (Sigurdson, 2000). The purpose of the prisons is to punish unlike the treatment of the mental health facilities. However, in spite this; some correctional systems are trying this even without the required funding. Sigurdson (2000) further stated that, there are medical boards that give restricted licenses to people to cater for people in the correction units. Formerly, those phycians who are impaired and considered not fit for working in the communities were issued with licenses so as to work in prisons. This really devalues the treatment of the mentally ill in the prisons.

I worked with various sources such as paying visits to the prison departments and interviewing the prion wardens and the management in the prison as well. I needed to research also on the feeling the mentally ill offenders get being in the prisons and their say regarding the high rates incarceration. I will look for this information from the mentally ill released prisons.

The importance of this proposal is to bring out the idea that many issues arise from the mental illness. This arises especially when they are brought for justice when a crime is committed. So many questions arise about the incarceration of a mentally ill person. The type of punishment to give such a person is also often confusing. I believe that there are certain laws that are put to place for specifically the mentally ill. However, I noticed that there are some people who are convicted and released through the justice system loop holes yet they lack a mental illness. This is because, some offenders claim to have the illness so as to seek forgiveness and evade being locked in the prisons (Brickman, et al, 2011).

Personally, I have studied the scenarios explained above in the paper. So many criminals have been locked up and isolated just because of their social behavior. Most of them usually possess some kind of mental illness. In the intensive Management Status, (is a program used to identify the mentally ill people) those that fail to show signs of being mentally ill in it; they develop them prior to their release. Isolation is the best option for making sure that the people capable of causing harm to others do not (Becker, 1977). But is has been exaggerated to generate something that is even worse. The offenders who are mentally ill need to be given the care that will enhance their normal functioning so as to fit in the same environment with the other offenders. Prisons are already negative, even without the additional negativity that is impacted on the criminal by isolating them and incarcerating them at high rates. The viability of this research is to ensure that the prisons and the high incarceration rates are not implemented on the mentally ill, but for the punishment purposes (Boyer, 2000).

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