By Pyerse Dandridge
Author: Subprime Felon: Inside Federal Prison Camp
Mental health disorders often result from extended time in incarceration. After release, these men are sent back into society with not only criminal convictions, but gaps in employment, negative stigmas, alternate mentalities, and a lot of work to do in order to shed the skin society now sees. Simply reentering society can cause high anxiety, and the consistent rejection can cause depression in terms of job searching. Most people have experienced the stress of job searching, however, think of the increased amount of stress with the odds stacked extremely high against you due to past mistakes.
It is clear that mental health issues are highly present in criminals during incarceration, but post-release these anxieties are just as high, if not higher, and other mental health disorders make recidivism highly likely in over 50% of men. Mental health issues can inhibit much of daily life and finding a job is at the top. Success is difficult to obtain for these men because, most likely, they are subjected to work in low-income jobs such as janitorial, fast food, and other low-paying blue-collar jobs. Their past mistakes are used as ammunition in such a way that it is difficult to maintain motivation to keep up a positive path towards success.
Mental health issues can take a real toll on life. Because mental health issues go untreated after release, men with mental health issues are twice as likely to recidivate after release than men who do not. Success could almost be said to be completely out of reach due to the fact that underlying conditions prevent the ability to conduct oneself properly in society. Anger, paranoia, abrasiveness, high anxiety, mood swings, and other characteristics that are created during incarceration can cause major problems for many with creating positive relationships with employers and co-workers.
It is clear that success post-release depends highly on the help these men receive to rejoin society with positivity and hope for something beyond a life of crime. If mental health issues were treated properly, these men could have a chance at a productive life. However, after living a life completely isolated from civilized society, procuring an exterior fit for incarceration in order to survive, and then kicked back out into society with a completely different mentality than before with no genuine direction on how to survive outside those walls, these men have very little chance at success.