The Treatment Of Mental Illness Within Correctional Institutions Through The Lens Of Forensic Psychology

The Treatment Of Mental Illness Within Correctional Institutions Through The Lens Of Forensic Psychology

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When examining the literature on the treatment of mental illness in correctional institutions through the lens of forensic psychology, certain themes become apparent. For one, most of the sources have been published in recent years, going back to the early 2000s. This can be attributed to the relatively new discipline of forensic psychology and the fact that the issue of mental illness in correctional institutions has only relatively recently gained relevance again. However, all the sources agree that for one, there is a high and disproportionate number of individuals with mental illnesses in the prison system and two, this is a major problem the system faces today and steps towards examining and solving it have to be taken (Cloyes, Lovell, Allen & Rhodes, 2006 ;Lovell, 2008; Magaletta, Diamond, Faust, Daggett & Camp, 2008; Mills, et al., 2011; Mitchell & Latchford, 2010). Overall, the literature in this section focuses on different aspects of the issue. While some literature looks at specific changes that can be implemented, other literature looks at the general issue of mental illness in correctional institution. However, most of the literature focuses on a more structural approach to solving the issue, involving changes in procedure or training and education of inmates and service personnel.
While inmates with mental illnesses can be found in all types of correctional institutions, no matter their gender, ethnicity or the security level of the institutions, there seems to be a higher prevalence of mental illness in specific settings. Magaletta, et al. (2008) found that women offenders were more likely to display mental illnesses compared to men. Their study found, that while one in seven male offenders had a mental illness,...


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...05; Mitchell & Latchford, 2010). This resistance can be decreased through methods such as honoring the resistance of the inmate, discussing the limits of confidentiality, discussing the realistic outcomes and to a certain level acting as an advocate for the inmate (Kupers, 2005).
The literature, however, does not discuss the combined effects of policy changes and changes in specific treatment options. The literature either focuses on specific treatments or more general changes within the institution that might improve the individual 's situation. When using both aspects one could gain a more comprehensive view of the issue. As well as suggest a resolution that not only takes the mental health staff’s perspective into account, but also the perspective of the policy makers and considers the imposed limitations that emerge when dealing with correctional institutions.

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