The Cost Effectiveness Of Imprisonment

1058 Words5 Pages
opinions and statistics regarding the cost effectiveness of imprisonment. Prison officials must be aware and mindful of inmates that are medically diagnosed with mental disorders. Placing mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement can jeopardize the safety and efficient operation of a correctional facility, and pose challenges for correctional professionals (Newman & Scott, 2012). Rehabilitative programs cost a lot of money and not all correctional facilities have funds to sponsor such services. The same could be said about funding mental health programs in super-max prisons. Due to budget constraints, drops in tax revenues, and lack of public support, mental health services vary from state to state. Some prison facilities attest they have basic mental health services to accommodate prisoners with mental disorders. However, due to strict prison regulations that require prisoners to remain in their cells, mental health clinicians are often “unable to mitigate fully the harm associated with isolation” (Metzner & Fellner, 2010, p. 105). Inadequate medical and psychiatric units made it difficult for physicians and psychiatrists to thoroughly perform their jobs and provide treatment for inmates requiring medical and psychiatric attention. Prison officials struggle to fill medical and psychiatric vacancies due to overcrowding, violence, and caseloads (Newman & Scott, 2012). In order to resolve various situations such as inmate overcrowding, inmate health care, rehabilitation and psychiatric treatment programs, every correctional facility in each state must have the funds to administer such services and programs. Failure to resolve rising problems in U.S jails and prisons will only cause more problems for society when and if these... ... middle of paper ... ...ractices” (Metzner & Fellner, 2010, p. 107). Prison officials must understand how dangerous and disruptive mentally ill inmates can be if they are housed in solitary confinement. Perhaps hiring more trained physicians and psychiatrists can help ease the incredible amount of caseloads due to overcrowding in U.S prisons. There are several community correction programs that are available for qualified offenders and it may reduce the overcrowding crisis: (1) furloughs; (2) work-release programs; and (3) halfway-house placements (Kania & Davis, 2012). Maintaining the aforementioned corrective programs is very costly, and not all states will have the budget for it. Incarcerating an offender for years in prison is not only costly, but it also places an offender at a disadvantage in terms of rehabilitation and gaining skills that are necessary when released from prison.
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