To what extent should correctional institutions be responsible for handling mentally ill individuals?
The extent that correctional institutions should be responsible for handling mentally ill individuals should be none. There are not fully equipped to handle the vast number of mentally ill individuals with their multiply types of conditions. Correctional institutes are already overcrowded with inmates and understaffed. The staff doesn’t have the necessary training to deal or identify people with mental problems. A systematic review of 62 surveys of the incarcerated population from 12 Western countries3 showed that, among the men, 3.7 percent had psychotic illness, 10 percent major depression, and 65 percent a personality disorder, including 47 percent with antisocial personality disorder. Among the women, 4 percent had psychosis, 12 percent major depression, and 42 percent a personality disorder. In addition, a significant number suffered from anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), organic disorders, short- and long-term sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI), suicidal behaviors, distress associated with all forms of abuse, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other developmental disorders, including mental retardation and Asperger's syndrome. Most of the incarcerated were economically disadvantaged and poorly educated with inadequate or no vocational and employment skills. Approximately 70 percent had primary or comorbid substance abuse disorders. Why does the criminal justice system assume responsibility for these individuals? Should it continue? Jails and prisons have become the mental asylums of the 21st Century—CNN. The United States has the highest rate of adult incarceration among the developed countries, with 2.2 million currently in jails and prisons. Those with mental disorders have been increasingly incarcerated during the past three decades, probably as a result of the...
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