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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135587 Find in a Library
Title: Reform by Decree: Litigation and the Provision of Mental Health Services in Jails (From Correctional Psychiatry, P 243-271, 1989, Richard Rosner and Ronnie B Harmon, eds. -- See NCJ-135571)
Author(s): S O Reed
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A 1986 survey of all jail administrators in Wisconsin, New Jersey, and New York obtained data on the jail (capacity, staffing patterns, budget, average daily population); mental health services (schedules, type of professional employed, aegis of provider); and problems (incidents of suicide or self-injury. litigation).
Abstract: Jail administrators whose responses indicated incidents of self-injury, suicide, and litigation by inmates participated in structured interviews that focused on the administrator's decision criteria for mental health services. Data on the relationship between occupancy rates, size, and self-injury suggest that very large, overcrowded jails and very small, underused jails may have higher rates of inmate self-injury. There is no indication that mental health services as indicated in total hours per inmate are associated with frequency of self-injury in the jails surveyed. This may be due to the fact that the typical amount of mental health services per inmate is too small to affect the problem. According to the survey, large, overpopulated jails are sued more often than small jails. Also, jails with high inmate/staff ratios are sued more often. Data obtained from the survey and the interviews indicate that litigation or the fear of it is the catalyst for the improvement of mental health services in jails. 13 references
Main Term(s): Offender mental health services
Index Term(s): Inmate health care; Inmate lawsuits; Inmate suicide; Jail management; New Jersey; New York; Wisconsin
Note: This Chapter has appeared in the author's dissertation, "Reform by Decree: The Provision of Mental Health Services in Jails and the Threat of Litigation."
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