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Healthcare Assignment: Impact of Mental Illness on Correctional Institutions in America


Task: Conduct a research on healthcare assignment and discuss how the issue of mental illness has impacted correctional institutions in America, as well as the influence of the number of convicts on probation and parole. your discussion should include the following:

How data analysis is utilized to identify mentally-ill offenders The costs (time, wages, personnel allocation, logistics, and so forth) expended on processing mentally-ill offenders through the court system The costs (time, wages, personnel allocation, logistics, and so forth) dedicated to the imprisonment of mentally-ill offenders Your opinion on how to handle mentally-ill offenders.


Data analysis used to identify mentally-ill offenders As identified by the different researches reviewed to prepare this healthcare assignment, the United States of America is associated with one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. The Statista report published that there are nearly 2.12 million people incarcerated in the USA as of July 2021. The stringent criminal justice policy is one of the key reasons behind such issues. However, in this context, special attention has been given to the mental health of these inmates. In this context, researchers generally refer to epidemiological studies in order to assess the holistic picture of the mental health of the prisoners. A recent survey reported that nearly 20% of prisoners residing in jails and 155 prisoners residing in state prisons show mental illness (Rossman et al., 2012). Thus, the total number of mentally ill offenders in the USA is about 356,000, which is pretty shocking.

In order to identify the mentally ill offenders, research refers to the data derived from different psychiatric ratings or psychological test scores. In order to identify whether a prisoner is mentally ill or not, the health professionals generally refer to the psychological evaluation. They can be front end physical examinations of the patent. As described in the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, thisphysical examination tries to evaluate the root cause, medical problems and accompanying psychological disorders. In the second stage. Some practitioners even referred to psychological evaluation. In order to do so, the mental health professionals used the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as recommended by ICD-10 codes. Furthermore, AIMS, DIS, SCID, MMPI-2 are some of the data analysis methods followed to screen the criminogenic risks.

Cost expended to process mentally-ill offenders through the court system.
The American court system has adopted stringent protocols in order to process the mental-ill offenders through the court system. There are different administrative protocols followed in the entire US to process mentally ill offenders. The mental health care system is pretty expensive in the USA. The empirical study of different researchers evaluated the current system and policies followed in the USA to process mentally ill offenders through the court system. The review of data of e National Association of State Budget Officers has evaluated that the budgetary allocation to treat these inmates has increased by 8% each year. However, the states spend nearly between 5 to 45% on the mental health care budget. In general, when a mentally ill person commits any crime, they are given nearly 60 days for treatment facilities. Furthermore, to develop potential solutions, community services have been developed in the USA system to treat those patients (Sunrise House, 2021). This is aligned with the strategy to diversify the criminal justice system in the civil system.

Furthermore, as opined by Kim (2015), the process the mentally ill offenders through the court system Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the New York State Legislature, Department of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA), the New York City Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) etc., take the responsibility of the logistics. As reported by the survey, more than $10,000 wages have been spent to tetra the mentally ill offenders associated with homicides. Apart from that, $20,000 has been extended per mental health treatment program, and the amount has been incurred by the crime victims and the taxpayers. Cost for the imprisonment of mentally-ill offenders According to Houser et al. (2019), mentally ill offenders are processed through imprisonment in serious cases. In this context, the police personnel are the first who care for the patients carefully after receiving a report from the individual. The initiative investigation decides the hospitalisation, arrest or informal disposition of the patients. In the USA, to respond immediately to the crisis, specialised police units remain involved in serious cafes. The Memphis Police Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) remains involved in the logistics process for the imprisonment of mentally ill offenders. This system is popular in Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee etc. however, in Florida, separate Crisis centres have been established for the personnel allocation of the mentally-ill offenders.

Moreover, the satire imprisonment system of the USA aims to diversify the patients from jail and include them in the community. Thus, Criminal Justice Treatment Programs have been formulated by the Maryland community. IN order to provide better facilities for the mentally ill people residing in the state prisons, nearly $758 million have been allocated by the US government. The cost of inmates for accessing medical care is fixed. The prisoners need to pay $2 to $5 for each medical visit. This amount of cost was incurred from the wages paid to the prisoners for prison jobs (Dvoskin, Knoll & Silva,2020). These prisoners are confined to their cells for more than 23 hours a day. In some cases,mentally-ill offenders sores sometimes imprisoned for more than 25 years. However, the Obama administration has brought certain changes to the imprisonment system. This system has been proposed to reduce the duration of imprisonment for mentally ill offenders.

Opinion about managing mentally-ill offenders
As suggested by Nicholls et al. (2018), the American criminal justice system maintained stringent protocols for mental-ill offenders. As highlighted from the in-depth research, this system is more expensive than other nations. However, the policy followed to treat the mentally ill offender is termed as infectious by different policymakers. This can be seen from the burgeoning causes of mentally ill offenders in prison in the USA. Thus, there is a need to design the system carefully. Firstly, there is a need to provide legal support for such inmates in order to maintain their human rights. Apart from that, the education of the families and the acquaintances is necessary to provide justice to the prisoners. A thorough screening procedure needs to be implemented to identify the severe mental ill-offenders who need immediate care. This illustrates the importance of follow-up assessment to check the progress of the treatments. By creating an effective Prison Treatment Program, we can see the desired changes in future. Another key important aspect of the treatment process is the screening of the safety of the prisoners. This can be provided by behavioural support by teaching the skills and responsibilities of the inmates. Timely access to the screening and counselling process can reduce the prevalence of mentally ill offenders (Houser et al., 2019). Thus, the government needs to provide budgetary support to reduce the vulnerability.

Dvoskin, J. A., Knoll, J. L., & Silva, M. (2020). A brief history of the criminalisation of mental illness. CNS spectrums, 25(5), 638-650.

Houser, K. A., Vîlcic, E., Saum, C. A., & Hiller, M. L. (2019). Mental health risk factors and parole decisions: does inmate mental health status affect who gets released. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(16), 2950.

How to Diagnose a Mental Health Disorder. Sunrise House (2021). Kim, K. (2015). The processing and treatment of mentally ill persons in the criminal justice system.

Nicholls, T. L., Butler, A., Kendrick-Koch, L., Brink, J., Jones, R., & Simpson, A. I. (2018). Assessing and treating offenders with mental illness.Healthcare assignment In The practice of correctional psychology (pp. 9-37).

Springer, Cham.

Rossman, S.B., Willison, J.B., Mallik-Kane, K., Kim, K., Debus-Sherrill, S., & Downey, P.M. (2012). Criminal justice interventions for offenders with mental illness: Evaluation of mental health courts in Bronx and Brooklyn, New York. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.


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