Mental Illness In Prison Essay

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Mental Illness in the Prison System
There are around 2.3 million inmates in U.S. Prisons, whether the crimes committed were petty or serious. Approximately 20 percent inmates in jail and 15 percent inmates in state prisons have some form of a serious illness. When talking about how mental illness is a problem when it comes to the prison system it is important to start from the beginning. Before the 1960’s where mental institutions where called insane asylums there where many problems for those who were patients there. Problems such as abuse by those who were supposed to be taking care of them or the cleanliness of the establishment. They were so bad that if there was someone who was mentally sane going into an asylum undercover, within a month
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This leading many to call United States prison “mental asylums”. This problem I believe stems from the fact that there is an abundant amount of local jails and prisons to number of asylums that we have. Being mentally ill has proven to being a major contributor to the amount of people being homeless. “As states continue to close down psychiatric facilities, there will be an increasing number of individuals with serious mental illness who are homeless”
Many homeless people in the United States don’t know of a safe and legal place to sleep leaving many of them getting fined with fees in which they cannot pay or even getting arrested. Those who may be homeless due to their mental illness are not in the streets because they choose to be, most of the time they have no other option. The severe mental illnesses (SMI) that they have, may leave them feeling like there is no one in which they can trust. People with untreated serious mental illness comprise an estimated one-third of the total homeless population. For example, those with paranoid schizophrenia might have certain hallucinations in which they feel like someone or something is out to get them that does not exist. They are extremely steadfast in their delusions and do not want to let them go. Having a SMI, a person does not have full control of their
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When correction officers go through training for their job they are not required to have a specialty in mental illness, meaning that they are not specifically hired to care for mentally ill inmates. Then there is the test that proves whether or not the inmate is competent or incompetent to stand trial. Competency means the ability to stand trial. “The State concedes that the conviction of an accused person while he is legally incompetent violates due process,” (Bishop v. United States, 350 U.S. 961, 1956). Competence speaks to the mental capacity of a
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