Thursday, September 07, 2006


Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates

There is a new study out by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (under USDOJ) that discusses the prevalence of meantal health problems. Here are some of the highlights of the report:

* Nearly a quarter of both State prisoners and jail inmates who had a mental health problem, compared to a fifth of those without, had served 3 or more prior incarcerations.
* Female inmates had higher rates of mental health problems than male inmates (State prisons: 73% of females and 55% of males; Federal prisons: 61% of females and 44% of males; local jails: 75% of females and 63% of males).
* Over 1 in 3 State prisoners, 1 in 4 Federal prisoners, and 1 in 6 jail inmates who had a mental health problem had received treatment since admission.

Two Questions:

Are these mental health problems pre- or post- incarceration?
Does anyone you know of any research on this subject?

I'd be really surprised if it didn't run both ways: prisoners start out with more mental health problems than non-prisoners and then incarceration compounds their problems.
If you go into a mental health facility sane, chances are high you will come out a little different.
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