Mental Health Patients And Jail Administration Critical Thinkings Example
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Mental health Patients and Jail Administration
The case of Roger is a reflection of a common trend in the United States society where mentally ill individuals appear to be more likely to get involved in crime as opposed to their healthy counterparts. The treatment of mentally ill individuals in prisons is different from that of other convicted offenders with stable minds. This is because mental health patients require specialized treatment during their time in prison even in instances where they have been committed to short jail terms.
The major reason why individuals suffering from mental problems are more susceptible to commit crime is that, owing to their state of mind, they may never be able to recognize that they have committed a crime. This makes deterrence very difficult. Secondly, most mentally ill individuals, like Roger, are homeless. They also lack proper medical insurance cover and as such are mostly unable to afford their medication. Since these facilities are readily available in prisons, most mentally ill individuals find prison life more comfortable than the life they live every day in the streets. This may influence them to always want to go to jail. They know that the only way to do this is to commit more crime. Roger shows other characteristics common with mentally ill convicts. He is violent and exhibits suicide tendencies.
Handling convicts such as Roger require a unique approach. This is because their jail terms are brief and therefore may not allow the prison authorities to focus on their treatment in the prison’s medical facilities. While Roger may be able to get drugs for the period he is in jail, this will only happen for a day as he is likely to be released after twenty four hours. Rodger has been to jail before and, given he is driven to commit crime by the relative comfort and availability of drugs in prison, he is likely to commit another crime as soon as he is released so that he can be sent back to prison. This seems to be at the center of Roger’s criminal recidivism tendencies. Another problem is that it is very expensive to keep Roger in prison. Handling Roger’s case requires an integrated approach that addresses the root cause of his problems.
The first step in handling Roger’s case is to commit him to a discharge planning program that will give the prison authorities an opportunity to find a permanent solution to his problem. Part of this solution should involve a comprehensive treatment option. Because of the high cost of such programs, the prison facility can liaise with other stake holders and state authorities concerned with the welfare of the mentally ill inmates to ensure that Roger is able to benefit from such state benefits as may be available him on being released from prison back into the society.
It must be recognized that Roger’s behavior stems from the fact that he does not appear to benefit from the services put in place by the community to help mentally ill persons. While these facilities may be available in the community, individuals with mental problems may not be able to identify and access them. Prison officers can get in touch with community institutions to ensure that Roger is booked into one of the community’s programs for the mentally ill where he can easily access drugs, food and comfort as it is the lack of these services that inform his recurrent criminal behavior.
Where is has been established that the mentally ill persons are motivated to commit crime by the relative luxury of the prisons where they are provided with medical facilities, food and shelter, more creative solutions must be found. The solutions must, however, be founded on the need to advance the welfare of offenders who are mentally ill. The prison administrators can put in place measure to ensure that such offenders are subjected to more severe conditions in prison. Intensive physical labor and reduced food ration in prisons, for instance, would discourage mentally ill persons from activities that would take them back to prison.
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