Illness In Prisons

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The quantity of mentally ill people within prisons has become large problem. Statistics report that 1.25 million inmates in the US suffer from some from of mental disorder. Looking at historical perspectives to inform discussion this essay intents to understand why this number is so high. To do this factors such as the history of mental illness, how mental illness is perceived in society, how insane asylums and the eventual deinstitutionalisation of mental health services affected those with mental illness, and finally the importance of proper community care will be explored. Before attempting to answer why there are so many individuals with mental illness within the criminal justice system it is first important to establish how mentally…show more content…
It appears that populations of people at that time attributed mental illness as the actions of evil spirits and that by creating an opening in the head those spirits could then be released. Practices based on conceptions of evil spirits were common pre-enlightenment and other treatments included magico-religious rituals which sometimes attempted to persuade ‘demons’ through bribery or punishment. Eventually this began to change between 500-201BCE as Hippocrates, a classical Greek physician, began to attribute mental illness to bodily imbalances. The largest leap, and the first instances of what can be called modern treatment in the field came with Sigmund Freud…show more content…
The cultural taboo associated with the mentally ill due to years of misunderstanding as discussed earlier, combined combined with the stigma of being an ex-convict means proper community care is difficult or impossible to procure. Prisoners with mental illness which require mandatory outpatient treatment “lack internal controls; they need external controls and structure to organize them to cope with life’s demands” so community care once they have been released is vital to ensure the maintenance of their condition. Without proper care many inmates will likely not manage to reintegrate properly back into society. This by extension means they will not be

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