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NCJ Number: 65013 Find in a Library
Title: WHO WILL CARE FOR THE 'MAD AND BAD'?
Journal: CORRECTIONS MAGAZINE  Volume:6  Issue:1  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1980)  Pages:5-9,12-17
Author(s): R WILSON
Corporate Author: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
New York, NY 10017
Sale Source: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
801 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CARING FOR AND COPING WITH MENTALLY ILL INMATES ARE A MAJOR PROBLEM AND A MINOR BUDGET ITEM AT CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS. PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT OF INMATES INTENSIFIES THE REHABILITATION-CUSTODY CONFLICT.
Abstract: MANY MENTALLY ILL INMATES ARE RECEIVING EITHER INADEQUATE TREATMENT OR NO TREATMENT AT ALL. MOREOVER, CONDITIONS IN PRISONS MAY UNDERMINE THE MENTAL HEALTH OF SOME PRISONERS. MENTAL HOSPITAL RELEASE POLICIES STIPULATING RELEASE OF MENTALLY ILL PERSONS TO COMMUNITY FACILITIES MAY BE TO BLAME FOR THE INCREASING NUMBERS OF MENTALLY ILL INMATES IN CORRECTIONS FACILITIES. MANY OF THESE INMATES MAY BE EX-PATIENTS INCAPABLE OF LIVING INDEPENDENTLY WITHOUT MEDICAL ATTENTION AND MAY HAVE COMMITTED CRIMES OUT OF MENTAL STRESS. GUIDELINES DEFINING PSYCHIATRIC CARE AS AN INMATE RIGHT HAVE BEEN ISSUED BY THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, AND IT IS EXPECTED THAT CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS WILL HAVE TO COMPLY WITH THEM. HOWEVER, A NUMBER OF COMPLICATIONS OBSTRUCT THE IDENTIFICATION AND PROPER PSYCHIATRIC CARE OF MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS EVEN IN WELL-MEANING INSTITUTIONS. IMPRECISE DEFINITIONS OF MENTAL ILLNESS ABOUND; FOR INSTANCE, CRIMINAL LAW DEFINES INSANITY IN MUCH NARROWER TERMS THAN THE PSYCHIATRIC COMMUNITY. MENTALLY ILL PRISONERS ARE FREQUENTLY SHUFFLED BETWEEN CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND MENTAL HEALTH AGENCIES BECAUSE THE PSYCHOTIC SYMPTOMS RECEDE UNDER TREATMENT BUT REEMERGE ONCE THE PATIENT IS RETURNED TO PRISON. LEGAL BARRIERS SOMETIMES MAKE THE TRANSFER FROM PRISON TO HOSPITAL DIFFICULT; PRISONERS MUST BE PROVED DANGEROUS TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS. MOREOVER, INMATE PRACTICES OF FEIGNING INSANITY COMPLICATE TRANSFERS, SINCE TRUE DISTURBANCES ARE FREQUENTLY CONFUSED WITH MOCK ONES. AN ETHICAL CONFLICT EXISTS FOR PSYCHIATRISTS WHOSE PRIMARY CLIENT IS THE PRISON SYSTEM RATHER THAN THE INDIVIDUAL INMATE PATIENT. AS LONG AS PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT REMAINS WITHIN CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES, IT MAY ALWAYS BE LIMITED TO THE PRACTICE OF 'MEDICATE AND MAINTAIN.
Index Term(s): Correctional facilities; Inmate attitudes; Inmate classification; Inmate Programs; Mentally ill offenders; Prisoner's rights; Psychiatric services; Psychological evaluation; Psychopaths; Psychotherapy; Right to treatment
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