Patients, not prisoners Prison for inmates is just a feeding ground for their disturbed and unsteady behavior. Inmates, often at times are the outcast of society. It is easy to justify their behavior by blaming the broken homes they grew up in, their low self-esteem, or even their lack of self control and discipline. Moreover, their insecurities force them to struggle with society?s norms causing them to retaliate. Their sense of detachment from their society, whether it was due to immoral values or unusual behaviors, causes them to react by committing crimes. These criminals, or societies? outcasts, almost always return to prison after their release. With thousands of dollars from the taxpayer?s money, we would assume that the government has set up a prison ward that would help these inmates rehabilitate and return to society, understanding the customs and their duty towards it. Yet, that is not the case. Instead, prison is considered to be a hard place that makes inmates even harder to break. This only creates a vicious cycle of breaking the broken. http://kirstyne.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/nicemike-com-my-life.gif Through this cycle, we can see that this is true about inmates and criminals. What we lack to know is that a large number of these inmates are mentally ill. There are about 200,000 to 300,000 inmates, both male and female, that suffer from at least one mental disorder. ?An estimated 7% of people with serious or persistent mental illnesses are put in jail or prison each year.? (Criminal Justice and Mental Illness). As (Prison Statistics, 2009) points out that while compared to the average of 2.3 million prisoners the number of the mentally ill seems to be low. However, in Florida, Miami-Dade County jail holds 5 times the amount of mentally ill inmates than the state psychiatric hospital (Criminal Justice and Mental Ill). Inmates with mental illness are often punished for their symptoms. Being disruptive, refusing to obey orders, and engaging in acts of self-mutilation and attempted suicide can all result in punitive action. As a result, prisoners with mental illness often have extensive disciplinary histories. Many mentally ill have not been able to seek proper treatments mostly because of economical reasons. This has caused to them to hurt others around them and force the law to incarcerate them. There are a number of different kinds of mental illnesses. Sometimes inmates have a temporary breakdown and while this temporary melt down should be monitored for future incidents, it is the enduringly mentally ill inmates that we should really take into consideration. Some of the psychological diseases that these inmates are diagnosed with include Psychosis, Clinical Depression, Dysthymia, Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders. It is important to understand these disorders and in order to understand the injustice of imprisoning mentally ill criminals. (Prell, 2009) ?As of yearend 2008, about 41.2% of inmates had at least one diagnosis of a mental illness. The prevalence of mental illness among female offenders is higher than for men. However, it is important to look beyond these numbers to obtain a more accurate picture of the mentally ill inmate population and the challenges they pose for the Department of Corrections.? (Prell, 2009) Psychosis is when an individual loses touch with reality. Individuals develop false ideas about the things that are taking place around them. In other words Psychosis is delusions. Individuals who are diagnosed with this disorder are having hallucinations about who someone is or/and about what they are hearing or seeing (Ballas, 2008). This is one the most dangerous disorders especially since they can commit a crime unknowingly, only because they feel they are being threatened without actually knowing what is going on in reality. Some of the symptoms of this disorder include; abnormal displays of emotion, confusion, depression and sometimes suicidal thoughts, disorganized thought and speech, hysteria, delusions, hallucinations and illusions, loss of touch with reality and extreme fear and suspicions. (Ballas, 2008) There are different reasons for the cause of this disorder; however, all individuals diagnosed need proper monitoring by professionals to guarantee the safety of the diagnosed and others around them. Inmates that do not receive this proper treatment can get worse and not only harm themselves but other inmates with them. Another disorder that has had a major influence on criminal activities is Schizophrenia. Like Psychosis, Schizophrenics have a hard time telling the difference between what is real and unreal. They find it difficult to think logically and to have normal emotional behaviors. Schizophrenia can take years to develop. Some of its symptoms include; showing no emotions, strange motor behaviors that illustrate detachment from the environment, delusions and hallucinations and a disordered thinking. While many believe Schizophrenics are violent people, yet that is not the case. Studies show that they withdraw from society and the only harm they may cause is to themselves; outside factors might, however, lead them to violent behaviors. ?News and entertainment media tend to link mental illnesses including schizophrenia to criminal violence. Most people with schizophrenia, however, are not violent toward others but are withdrawn and prefer to be left alone. Drug or alcohol abuse raises the risk of violence in people with schizophrenia, particularly if the illness is untreated, but also in people who have no mental illness. When violence does occur, it is most frequently targeted at family members and friends, and more often takes place at home.? (Schizophrenia and Poverty, Crime and Violence, 2009) Clinical Depression is another disorder that affects a number of inmates. This disorder has a negative response to an individual?s feelings, thoughts and actions. This affects the individual?s functions. Often times, individuals diagnosed with its symptoms lose interest in life and activities they once enjoyed. Unlike being sad, clinical depression affects a person?s life style. It changes their eating habits, their moods, thoughts, body and behavior. It can cause an individual to lose their ability to work and communicate with others. (Clinical Depression) Inmates with this diagnosis can retreat further into their disorder making it harder for them to return back to reality which may lead to suicide. Dysthmia is another form of depression. Individuals diagnosed with Dysthmia feel that their life lacks excitement and happiness. They are constantly worried and are often withdrawn from society. Their detachment can cause serious violent or unlawful reactions. They will feel guilt but also irritation. Unlike other types of depressions, Dysthmia is often recognized but its severity and its length. ?About three percent of the population will suffer from Dysthmic disorder at some time in their life. The rate of Dysthmia is slightly lower than that of major depression, and like major depression, Dysthmia occurs about twice as often in women.? (Dysthmia and Dysthmic Disorder) Some of the symptoms include; negative thoughts, social withdrawal, conflicts with family and friends and irritability or hostility. These symptoms can often be read as an indication of a criminal. Individuals with this disorder, like any other disorder, need to be treated before the situation gets worse living in the atmosphere of a prison. Bipolar disorder is an altering in moods, commonly between depression and excitement. They are major and abrupt mood swings. These mood swings can go on for days or even months. The symptoms of this disorder include; Agitation or irritation, hyperactivity, increased energy, lack of self-control, racing thoughts, poor temper control, reckless behavior like impaired judgement and sexual promiscuity, and a tendency to be easily distracted (Bipolar Disorder, 2009). These symptoms are a cause for criminal activities. While mood swings with some might not be as apparent as others, this does not mean to disregard this disorder at a whole. Like a majority of mental illnesses, disregarded the symptoms can result in dangerous behaviors. Some of their behaviors in result of this disorder include; thoughts of death and committing suicide, withdrawal from society and activities and eating problems. (Bipolar Disorder, 2009) While a number of these disorders can be taken care of while the mentally ill is in prison the current conditions of these facilities are unreasonable for any living human being and can actually create a number of these illnesses to develop further. The sanitation, prisoners maltreatment and mal-nutrient all have an effect on the sanity of prisoners. Many believe that these criminals are the scum of the earth and do not deserve to be treated any better than how they are currently being treated. However, poor treatment means that they only grow negative feelings toward society causing them to continue in criminal activities once they are out in the world. No one knows what the length and depth of their next crime might be. It is amazing how so much money is put into the rehabilitation program yet criminals come out exactly the same as they entered if not worse. The designs and programs sat were made in order to see a change in the criminal activities in society. Yet every year the amount of criminal activities rise higher. While the problem can never be solved, a significant reduction in crime rate can be made. This can easily start with paying more attention to the mentally ill. It is reasonable to arrest a criminal but once in the custody of the government it becomes their responsibility to take proper care of each individual in order to ensure that the criminal has a full recollection of his actions and his mistake. It is also their responsibility to make sure those who need proper medications to stay stable receive it. Today the current situation in prison facilities in America is unlivable. They lack hygiene and proper meals. There is constant abuse from the guards and other inmates, both and mental and physical. These tough living conditions make it hard for any mentally ill inmate to get proper treatment. Every inmate should given proper evaluation to determine a proper facility to place them in. Some things to consider upon evaluation is the age, their criminal action and their race. In order to assure proper assessment and evaluation as well as proper treatment of both guards and prisoners, only trained professionals should hired to work in these facilities. By giving them proper and fair treatment and a number of inmates will begin to lose their emotional troubles that would cause them in the current living conditions of the prison facilities to make problems. Also, providing them with ways to pass time, like extra activities and work opportunities, inmates would be able to relax and pass time quickly. The feeling of being in a prison cell for a long period of time can cause any individual to panic and develop hysteria. http://www.dirty-rotten-scoundrels.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/prison1.jpg A routine check up and cavity search should be part of the agenda. While it is important for the safety of the guards and inmates from one another, it is just as important for inmates who have mental illness. These individuals have a high risk of hysteria and delusions. They can imagine something happening that in reality is not happening. They can become irritated from other inmates and because they lost all sense of rationality they can harm others around them. They can also fall deep in depression and begin to think thoughts of suicide. It is important at any prison facility that they keep in mind that the inmate?s mental and physical health is a necessary part in running a prison. It is obvious that they should be fed properly, but it is just as important that their emotional needs are fed as well. Prison facilities should work closely with physicians and psychiatrists. They should receive proper treatment and even after the sentence is done the doctors that were responsible for them during their time in prison should also make sure they are attending proper treatment outside the facility. It is hard to believe how inmates leave with a few weeks amount of prescription and do not find or do not look for a proper doctor to treat them before the medication is finished. Once they go back to normal they begin to retreat again and find it difficult to get proper treatment. They go back to their normal neurotic behaviors which got them into the mess in the first place. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statistics and Numerical values (that will be used in the future) ?16% of the population in prison has a mental illness, compared to 5% of the U.S. population.? (Criminal Justice and mental Illness) ?Prisons hold three times more people with mental illness than do psychiatric hospitals, and U.S. prisoners have rates of mental illness that are up to four times greater than rates for the general population.? (Kanapaux, 2004) ?The majority of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system are there for misdemeanors and crimes of survival?(Kanapaux, 2004) ?The federal government's war on drugs has swept up people with mental illness at higher rates than those for the general population because more people with mental illness use and abuse drugs? (Kanapaux, 2004) ?Since 2003, U.S. immigration authorities have spent more than $300 million to detain over 48,000 asylum seekers in U.S. prisons and prison-like facilities ? in a system that lacks basic due process safeguards and is inconsistent with America's longstanding commitment to protect those who flee from persecution, according to a report released today by a leading human rights organization.? (Report Finds U.S. , 2009) ?While it costs ICE about $95 a day to detain an asylum seeker, alternatives to detention cost between $10 and $14 a day, and releasing on parole an asylum seeker who satisfies the release criteria and poses no threat to the community has no daily cost.? (Report Finds U.S. , 2009) ?In the course of one year the government spent more than $1million on just 20people, who were repeatedly arrested, committed to hospitals for 27 hours, jailed, or put in detoxification facilities? (Criminal Justice and mental Illness) ?In Pennsylvania, a study found that inmates with mental illness cost nearly twice as much per day compared with other inmates in the prison population.? (Criminal Justice and mental Illness) Examples 1- Death of Timothy Souders ALPHABATIZED REFRENCES AND NO NUMBERS BEFORE THEM. Pg 440 for references from database. References no bulleted or numbered just indented, and alphabetized LETS PUT THE ONES THAT ARE USED FOR DISEASE DEFINITION AS BOOKS OR DATABASE SINCE NOT ALOT ONLY 2 ONLINE SOURCES NEEDED. no need of abstarct just title page body and reference For movie, TV program resources CNN: EXAMPLE: Pratt, C. (Executive Producer). ( Date of Program). Mentally ill special edition [Television broadcast]. Washington, DC : CNN News. This is another chart to add
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