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NCJ Number: 65468 Find in a Library
Title: PROBLEMS OF THE MENTALLY ILL OFFENDER IN A CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
Journal: PRISON JOURNAL  Volume:49  Issue:1  Dated:(SPRING-SUMMER 1969)  Pages:34-37
Author(s): J F MAZURKIEWICZ
Corporate Author: Pennsylvania Prison Soc
United States of America
Date Published: 1969
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Pennsylvania Prison Soc
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE TREATMENT AND SECURITY PROBLEMS INVOLVED IN THE INCARCERATION OF MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS IN CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: PRISONS RARELY PROVIDE EVEN MINIMALLY ADEQUATE HOUSING AND TREATMENT FOR THE MENTALLY ILL OFFENDER FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. THE HOUSING AND MANAGEMENT ROUTINES OF THE PRISON ARE NOT EASILY ALTERED OR SUSPENDED TO ACCOMMODATE SPECIAL INMATES, PARTICULARLY WHEN SUCH CHANGES WOULD AFFECT ONLY A SMALL PORTION OF THE TOTAL PRISON POPULATION. THE BEHAVIOR AND OVERT SYMPTOMS OF MENTAL ILLNESS ARE FAR FROM BEING UNDERSTOOD OR TOLERATED BY OTHER OFFENDERS, AND THE REACTIONS OF FELLOW PRISONERS, WHO OFTEN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE WEAKER PARTY, POSE THREATS TO THE SECURITY OF THE PATIENT AND TO THE GENERAL OPERATION OF THE INSTITUTION. A FURTHER PROBLEM IS THE CURRENT MODE OF TREATMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF MENTAL ILLNESS, INVOLVING THE USE OF PSYCHOPHARMACEUTIC AGENTS OR ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY. THE FIRST METHOD REQUIRES SECURITY PROCEDURES TO PREVENT ACCESS TO THE DRUGS BY NONPATIENTS WHILE THE LATTER RAISES MORAL QUESTIONS WHEN USED IN A CORRECTIONAL SETTING. IN ADDITION, CORRECTIONAL STAFF RARELY HAVE THE EXPERIENCE OR TRAINING TO TREAT THE MENTALLY ILL OFFENDER. PROBLEMS CAUSED BY THE OFFENDER'S DUAL STATUS AS BOTH SENTENCED OFFENDER AND MENTALLY ILL PATIENT OFTEN RESULT IN BOTH THE RELUCTANCE OF THE OFFENDER AND MENTAL HOSPITAL STAFF TO ACCEPT THE OFFENDER-PATIENT FOR TREATMENT AND THE OFFENDER'S FEAR OF FAILURE TO MEET INSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS ONCE RETURNED TO PRISON. MORE PRACTICAL METHODS OF TRANSFERRING MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS TO APPROPRIATE CARE FACILITIES ARE RECOMMENDED, AS WELL AS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CUSTODIAL AND TREATMENT RESOURCES WITHIN PRISONS TO PRECLUDE THE TRANSFER TO A MENTAL HOSPITAL. NO REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Corrections internal security; Custody vs treatment conflict; Mental health services; Mentally ill offenders
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65468

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