Mental Disorders: Mentally Ill Offenders In Prison

2077 Words9 Pages
Mentally-ill Prisoners Kyle Sloan Indiana University East Imagine if you were in prison with a mental illness. The illness does not allow you to think rationally, and you are not receiving the proper treatment. The guards do not know what to do with you, and when they try to help, they only make things worse. People are constantly calling you stupid, and they try to hurt you every chance they get. Guards use force, pepper spray, and isolation to control your behavior. You feel alone and scared because you cannot understand why you cannot be like the others. Several people are in prison with mental disabilities in America. These people do not receive the proper care that they need, and they are treated like any other inmate.…show more content…
The suicide was caused because the prisoner was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was not being treated properly with medication. A study in 2006 shows that over half of the prison population in America has at least one known mental illness. 1.25 million people are estimated to have a mental illness in America, and mentally-ill people are two to four times more likely to be overrepresented in the prison system. Of this population, people are not receiving proper medication. According to the Huffington post, many people with mental illnesses are not receiving treatment at all while incarcerated in prison. If treatment is available in the prison, guards are not monitoring the inmates. Guards do not monitor if the mentally-ill inmates are taking their medications. Many of the prisoners are either using a technique called self-medication, or they are not taking their medicine at all. This causes concern for many people when evaluating mentally-ill offenders because they are likely to commit suicide. In 2010, 520 people with mental illnesses took their own life while incarcerated in a state prison. This can be contributed to the untrained guards and lack of proper treatment that the prisoners receive while incarcerated. Many times prisoners with mental illnesses are not treated even before they reach prison. While awaiting trial,…show more content…
Use of force and punishment needs to be changed to accommodate mentally-ill prisoners, guards need to have training to deal with mentally-ill prisoner, and treatment needs to be available to mentally-ill prisoners. Prisons have started to change, like in California, but more efforts need to be made in order to secure proper incarceration of mentally-ill prisoners. The use of force needs to be monitored when dealing with mentally-ill prisoners. When guards use force, they are abusing their power over someone who is not mentally competent. The inmate may take the force as a sign of harassment and might possibly fight back. This can cause the prisoners to shut down completely and only cause future problems (Thompson, 2014). Isolation should also be monitored because it is proven that isolation causes mentally-ill prisoners’ symptoms to become worse. When their symptoms are worse, they can be extremely difficult to handle and guards will not know how to respond. Guards also need to be trained to deal with mentally-ill prisoners. Many guards receive limited training on how to deal with the mentally-ill. Studies show that guards only receive a few hours of training a year. This is not enough since the majority of the prison population has at least one mental illness (Horowitz, 2013). Guards should receive weeks of intensive training to adequately know how to deal with these prisoners and

More about Mental Disorders: Mentally Ill Offenders In Prison

Open Document