A Bureau of Justice Statistics Special report entitled, “Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates”
An online version of an National Public radio piece entitled, “Mentally Ill are Often Locked Up in Jails that Can’t Help” (you may also download this as a podcast if you prefer to listen and take notes – I placed the link at the end of the article)
Read those two items. After reviewing all of the material, answer the following questions.
Q. Based upon your review of the literature, would you categorize inmate mental illness as a major problem facing society (and the criminal justice system) today? Why or why not? Compare the percentage of inmates with mental health problems to the percentage of the general US population with similar problems (detailed in the first three pages of the BJS report). What is your theory in regard to the prevalence of MH issues in the incarcerated population? Which of the three primary options discussed (the status quo, community health centers, and/or state asylums) do you believe would most effectively address the issue? Ensure that you include an explanation as to the role that law enforcement would play, if any.