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NCJ Number: 179249 Find in a Library
Title: Prison Madness: The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It
Author(s): Terry A. Kupers M.D.
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 331
Sponsoring Agency: Jossey-Bass Publishers
San Francisco, CA 94103-1741
Publication Number: ISBN 0-7879-4361-4
Sale Source: Jossey-Bass Publishers
989 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103-1741
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the treatment of mentally ill inmates and specific prison conditions and practices argues that prisons are warehousing and mistreating large numbers of mentally ill people and that current prison policies are also traumatizing formerly normal prisoners and making them angry, violent, and vulnerable to severe emotional problems.
Abstract: The author reports that the prevalence of mental disorders among prisoners is at least five times the rate in the general population, that a large proportion of inmates with serious mental disorders are ignored by the clinical staff, and that those who do receive treatment do not receive adequate attention. In addition, harsh prison conditions cause even more inmates to experience breakdowns or commit suicide; inadequate diagnosis and treatment of mental illness also leads to more severe and chronic cases. The discussion also focuses on the impacts of racism, rape and posttraumatic stress disorder, lack of contact with loved ones; the special problems that female inmates experience; and the prison and jail suicide rates that are twice as high and nine times as high as those in the general population. The final three chapters examine the possibilities and limits of litigation, recommendations for treatment and rehabilitation, and policy changes to reduce the use of incarceration and to change prisons into institutions that respect human life and the constitutional rights of all citizens. The author is a psychiatrist and co-chair of the Committee on the Mentally Ill Behind Bars of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. Case examples, chapter reference notes, and index
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Corrections policies; Mental disorders; Mentally ill offenders; Offender mental health services; Prisoner's rights; Psychiatric services; Right to treatment
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