Overrepresentation In Jails

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Failure to provide successful treatment alternatives to the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill and the unequal opportunity to receive proper mental health care treatment in the U.S has resulted in the overrepresentation of the mentally ill in U.S jails and prisons. Mental health courts have shown they reduce recidivism, long term treatment plans over incarceration is a clear step in the right direction. (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2008) The expansion and creation of more mental health courts in necessary, additionally, there is a need for improvements in the innovation to better serve their clients ethically and effectively.
The need for mental health courts Ten times as many mentally ill people are in prison and jail …show more content…

The mentally ill are more at risk to confessing to crimes they have not committed. “Compared to prevalence rates in the general population, persons with serious mental illness are over-represented both in the criminal justice system and in the pool of identified false confessors. A combination of psychologically manipulative police interrogation tactics, a complex legal system, and inherent vulnerabilities that typify mental disorders (e.g., proneness to confusion, lack of assertiveness) make this population at risk for miscarriages of justice, including wrongful convictions.”(Redlich, Summers, Hoover, 2010, p. 81, 82) Mentally ill inmates are more likely to recidivate. A research study compared multiple incarcerations among mentally ill offenders to non-mentally ill offenders over a 6 year period and found that the mentally ill have a significantly higher rate of recidivism, specifically offenders with bipolar disorder, who were 3.3 times more likely to have at least four or more previous incarcerations than non-mentally ill inmates. (Baillargeon, Binswanger, Murray, 2009) Mentally ill inmates are more likely to be sexually assaulted by another inmate. 3.6% of mentally ill jail inmates reported that they have been compared to 0.7% of non-mentally ill inmates. (U.S Department of Justice, 2013) Mentally ill inmates are more likely to get injured in a prison fight. 20.4% vs. 10.1% (Beau of Justice …show more content…

Moore and Virginia Hilday (2006) conducted a research study on the effectiveness of mental health courts, they compared the recidivism rate among mentally ill offenders that that attended mental health courts to mentally ill offenders that attended traditional criminal courts. They found that defendants that attended mental health courts had an approximate 50% lower re-arrest rate than defendants that attended traditional criminal courts. Defendants that fully completed the mental health courts programs had a less than one fourth re-arrest rate of defendants that attended traditional criminal courts. (Moore, Hiday, 2006) Therefore, their findings clearly suggest that mental health courts significantly reduce the recidivism rate, especially when defendants fully complete the mental health court

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