Abstract and Keywords
This essay describes trends in the number of mentally disordered offenders in prison and the unique challenges posed by them in terms of prison management and service delivery. The essay first explores why persons with mental illnesses are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, then discusses efforts to rehabilitate this population should not take place within the prison environment (and, if they do, what changes in current practices are necessary to adapt to the prison setting). How the challenges posed by mentally ill inmates are managed is also covered, with critical discussions of these strategies. Finally, an analysis of the changes that are needed to improve conditions for inmates with mental illness in prisons is presented, with a description of one promising program for treating these offenders. Suggestions for future research with this population that will help inform and improve prison conditions for offenders with mental illness are also provided.
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