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Psychological Disorders in Prisons, Article Writing Example

Pages: 2

Words: 608

Article Writing

Psychological disorders are some of the most common topics brought up in media and society when talking about psychology. The article By the Numbers: Mental Illness Behind Bars provides a thorough analysis of the growing issue of psychological disorders present in prisoners throughout the United States. It particularly examines the causes and current problems within the criminal justice system in relation to inmates with psychological disorders.

The vast majority of all inmates across federal, state and local prisons have some sort of a psychological disorder. To put this in perspective, in 2006 the Department of Justice found that In state prisons, 73 percent of women and 55 of men had metal health problems, in federal prisons, 61 percent of women and 44 percent of men had similar problems and in local jails, 75 percent of women and 63 percent of men had metal health problems (Varney, 2014). This statistic is astounding because it points out a trend of those who are incarcerated are typically suffering from a psychological disorder. These disorders are typically depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorders. Those who are diagnosed with these disorders rarely receive adequate treatment due to the fact that they are locked up in jail for long periods of time with the rest of the prions population.

This article also discusses how the presence of psychological disorders has been increasing rapidly within our prison system. This has been connected to the closures of mental health hospitals and support for those affected by psychological disorders. The same study conducted by the Department of Justice found that after the closures of mental health institutes in Ohio, among 132 patients discharged from the state hospital, 17 percent of them were arrested within six months (Varney, 2014). These statistics show that psychological disorders are more common than the general public realizes and very common in our prison system. This is correlated with the fact that many of those who are incarcerated because of drug use, prostitution, robbery, and other violent crimes usually have some psychological disorder. These disorders usually spawn from traumatic childhood experiences and failed treatment during adolescence. Once incarcerated, these disorders only worsen due to the stressful and violent environment within prisons. Persons who have been diagnosed with psychological disorders are more likely to be injured in prison than those without psychological disorders.

After serving time in prison, those who have these disorders have a very hard time adjusting to society more so than ex-convicts without these disorders. Finding jobs, staying off drugs, and keeping their families together are just a few of the difficulties. This is due to the lack of adequate medical care for treatment of psychological disorders. Those who don’t receive any sort of treatment or therapy are more likely to commit another crime and end up back in the [prison system.

This article does a great job of showing the high volume of prisoners with psychological disorders who don’t receive any treatment. Shockingly, many of these prisoners are detained because they either couldn’t afford treatment or were released due to metal health clinics being shut down. The incarceration of those suffering of psychological disorders does not protect citizens or those who have the mental health issues. Using this information provided by this article, we should rethink our approach towards helping those affected by psychological disorders. Rather than punishing them, we should help treat them. This would not only help the overall health of the country, but also reduce the unnecessary costs of incarceration those who wouldn’t be in prison if they had adequate mental health treatment.

References

Varney, S. (2014, May 15). By The Numbers: Mental Illness Behind Bars. Retrieved July 23,  2015, from http://khn.org/news/by-the-numbers-mental-illness-jail/

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