Caring for the Mentally Ill

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Introduction From the deinstitutionalization of mental health hospitals and asylums to mass incarceration of mentally ill offenders, our society has failed to treat mentally ill people and prevent systematic incarceration. In spite of many violent mentally ill offenders who are rightfully incarcerated, a significant amount of incarcerated non-violent mentally ill offenders need treatment and guidance. Incarcerating mentally ill offenders consistently is unethical due to lack of alternatives. The mentally ill are overloading prisons, which render progression useless since there are not many solutions to rectify their issues. Options for providing treatment and establishing mental health facilities will be discussed. Alternative solutions could include community-based mental health treatment centers, mental health courts, and long-term treatment programs. Finally, not all mentally ill offenders can safely reenter the general population after committing a particular crime. However, there are certain issues to be corrected within correctional facilities including staff and training, treatment teams, and punishment. Several solutions to improve prison conditions and help those that must be incarcerated have been recommended in this paper as well. Treating Mental Illness Before Trouble Occurs Because mental health hospitals and asylums are viewed as inhumane, mentally ill people are falling victim to their illnesses. When hospitals and asylums were shut down, community-based treatment centers were supposed to open but never received the funding to so do. Preventative treatment could be offered through these community-based treatment centers, which would ideally prevent criminal behavior by the mentally ill all together (Kempner, 201... ... middle of paper ... ...inder, R. L. (2007). Effectiveness Of A Mental Health Court In Reducing Criminal Recidivism And Violence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164(9), 1395-1403. Murphy, K. A. (2013, June 19). Correctional officers' perceptions of mentally ill offenders. ProQuest. Retrieved April 22, 2014, from http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.temple.edu/docview/1502183223 Prison Bureau. (2011, September 15). Annual determination of average cost of incarceration. Federal Register. Retrieved April 27, 2014, from https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2011/09/15/2011-23689/annual-determination-of-average-cost-of-incarceration Smith, A. (2013, August 4). Suicides kill more inmates than homicide, overdoses, accidents combined - NBC News. NBC News. Retrieved April 17, 2014, from http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/suicides-kill-more-inmates-homicide-overdoses-accidents-combined-f8C11072563

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