By Pyerse Dandridge
Author: Subprime Felon: Inside Federal Prison Camp
Mental health issues are very common in the criminal population. Studies have shown that even after receiving psychiatric help, some former criminals still present psychiatric symptoms after discharge. Over 10% of inmates have been reported to have a form of mental illness. The most common disorders are substance abuse and personality disorders. It is discussed that many of those with mental illness are unable to afford proper care and, because of this, have committed crimes both violent and nonviolent in nature.
Signs of such mental illnesses include:
- significant mood swings,
- prolonged depression periods,
- constant fatigue,
- extreme weight gain or loss,
- lack of sleep,
- violent outbursts,
- extreme behavioral changes,
- consistent self-criticism,
- suicide attempts
If these types of symptoms go untreated, these individuals are likely to hurt themselves or someone else.
There are many ways to attempt to find solutions for individuals who struggle with mental illness. Psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities are the best fit in the hopes of assisting with these problems, however, but for individuals with little to low income, this is an unlikely solution, and often a reason these symptoms go untreated. Studies have shown that assistance with housing can go a long way in terms of helping individuals with mental illness have consistency in living and allow them to remove themselves from poor and dangerous environments that go along with homelessness.
Another solution is employment programs designed for people with mental illnesses. Studies have shown that having a job and feeling good about oneself for holding employment shows great improvement in individuals with mental illness. Additionally, some areas have programs where those who have mental illnesses receive around-the-clock assistance where basic needs are met such as food and shelter.
The problem is, it’s very difficult to find solutions because not all areas are populated enough to contain volunteer or charity organizations. Many who experience mental illness often find no relieve and perpetually find themselves incarcerated or detained in some fashion. Without help, these individuals often worsen and have no hope for a better future without this disability. Substance abuse is a major illness that affects the entire character of an individual.
Rehabilitation centers are often the best place to detox from these types of illnesses but again, these places are not accessible to everyone. Mental illness is very real and serious, and many individuals are locked away in correctional facilities where they do not belong; rather than receiving help finding the mental care they need.