Correctional facilities negatively affect individuals with pre-existing mental and behavioral health concerns while also creating an environment that manifests future mental illness. Issues include facility overcrowding, restrictive housing practices, lack of accessible services, and ill-informed practices and procedures when working with individuals with mental illness. Incarcerated individuals with mental illness also face disparities through (1) sentence length, (2) race/ethnicity and gender, and (3) increased risk in victimization. This paper draws attention to a long-standing, yet current critical issue in the American criminal justice system—the use of jails and prisons as modern-day psychiatric hospitals. This literature yields many options for disrupting this practice, including both proactive and reactive reforms that seek to reduce mass incarceration of those with mental illness as well as improve correctional facility conditions for this incarcerated population.
Bice, Cameron A. and Terry, April N.
"Modern Approaches to Addressing the Mass Incarceration of America's Mentally Ill Population,"
Academic Leadership Journal in Student Research: Vol. 6, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/aljsr/vol6/iss1/3