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Mental Illness and the Justice System

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This paper will identify how and why mentally ill individuals have come to be overrepresented in the criminal justice system and highlight the remarkable challenges this has become for police, corrections, and courts. Mentally ill individuals are characterized incorrectly in all aspects of the justice system, from being apprehended to incarcerated. It’s been discovered that 20% of state prisoners and 21 percent of federal prisoners have a continuous history of psychological instability. Upwards of 70% of adolescence in the juvenile system have at least one psychological condition and 20% experience the ill impacts of serious mental instability (Glaze and James 2006; Skowyra and Cocozza 2007).

The number of prisoners with a serious mental disease has been frequently growing since the 1980s. These instances have ended up being unavoidable so much that there is a rise in the number of people with mental issues in a correctional facility than there are in psychological institutions (Torrey et al. 2010). To totally grasp the latest examples of mental illness in the criminal justice system, it is important to first consider the true response to undermined behavior inside the United States. Throughout history, mental illness was viewed as a condition brought on by the supernatural, treated as a kind of sinister being and reestablished through exacting custom-like religion. During the 18th century, the treatment for a psychological problem resembled the restraining of wild animals – individuals were vulnerable to beatings and merciless disciplines. Those with the most extraordinary type of mental problems were much of the time executed or driven away from their communities, while those with the less problematic issue were compelled into mental institutions, workhouses, and jails. A noteworthy number of those detained inside would experience their days shackled in cramped basements.

Because of the horrific therapy of mentally ill prisoners, numerous individuals successfully supported an empathetic way to deal with manage treating dysfunctional behavior. This provoked the advancement of the asylum system in the United States. Unfortunately, the number of people searching for treatment broadened significantly quicker than what the asylum system could oversee. Consequently, mental health institutions became overpopulated, staff to patient ratio diminished significantly, and the nature of care suffered. During the 1960s a high pace of psychological disorders in correctional facilities started with the closing of psychiatric wards and other mental health facilities. Thus, individuals who experience psychological disorders of dysfunctional behavior turned out to be progressively helpless against the criminal justice system.

The number of individuals with dysfunctional behavior in the communities during this time in the 20th century significantly influenced all stages of the criminal justice system. In any case, let us consider contact with the police, the first period of the criminal justice process. Police officers are normally the first responders behind contact incorporating critical conditions with objectively rationally sick individuals (Lamb et al. 2004). They choose if the individual should be connected with treatment resources or on the off chance that they ought to be arrested and taken in for processing. In situations in which the individual is deemed at risk for hurting himself or others, the police may consider that arrest is the most secure methodology, especially if mental resources are limited in the area.

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Then again, police officers, who are not experienced, may not see the side effects of dysfunctional behavior, as such unveiling the more unmistakable tendency to use arrest instead of referral to communities’ assets, particularly for minor offenses. It is anything but difficult to see that the criminal justice system was not set up and isn’t set up to give careful mental wellbeing treatment. Most of the inmates with psychological health issues don’t get treatment while imprisoned. For instance, only one out of three state prisoners, one of each four government prisoners, and one out of six correctional facility prisoners who had a mental illness issue get treatment. As anybody would expect, the frustrating conditions of health facilities have been entrapped as a possible explanation behind the higher movements of psychological unsteadiness among detained peoples.

The consistent danger of exploitation, violence, and the nonappearance of social support may add to a higher pace of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and self-destruction behavior like suicide in correctional settings comparative with the general population. The unexpected rising in confinement all through the latest forty years, joined with the weight of the developing number of rationally sick individuals incarcerated, has driven policymakers and specialists to consider alternative strategies, for example, making the Crisis Intervention Teams and psychological health courts. Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs) are first-responder models of police-based intervention that accomplices with health, advocacy groups, and community. CIT offers training to officers to help individuals encountering mental unsteadiness with the ultimate objective of jail preoccupation with psychological health care (Landsberg 2002).

Officers pick whether the individual requires inpatient care or if they can return to society with a referral to search for help from another organization association. CIT involves mentally ill individuals from interacting with the criminal justice system by expanding the help they get from psychological health services, and in this way diminishing the danger of arrest when ‘in crisis.’ Officers are prepared in de-escalation tactics that help settle many of these emergency circumstances, which might be particularly valuable if community health agencies are not promptly accessible (Dupont and Cochran 2000).

The CIT model has been seemed to diminish arrest to two percent of episodes compared with a national normal of 20% (Steadman et al. 2000). To this end, crisis intervention teams seem, by all accounts, to be promising to connect rationally sick wrongdoers with comprehensive community mental health services. This would likely keep various debilitated individuals who do minor offenses from being handled through the criminal justice system. Mental health courts seem, by all accounts, to be another practical strategy to achieve this goal. Different exploration has found mental health courts to effectively lessen and keep low-level individuals out of jail and prison (Christy et al. 2005; Ferguson et al. 2008a,2008b; McNiel and Cover 2007;).

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Mental Illness and the Justice System. (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/mental-illness-and-the-justice-system/
“Mental Illness and the Justice System.” Edubirdie, 08 Jul. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/mental-illness-and-the-justice-system/
Mental Illness and the Justice System. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/mental-illness-and-the-justice-system/> [Accessed 1 Feb. 2023].
Mental Illness and the Justice System [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 08 [cited 2023 Feb 1]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/mental-illness-and-the-justice-system/
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