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Mental health issues in jail

Assignment Details

Scenario: You are a team leader in a clinic inside a medium-security state prison. Many of the inmates have been diagnosed with brain disorders, and the attending prison physicians have indicated medications that the prisoners must take while incarcerated in the facility. A state legislator visiting the prison has been advised of this program forcing inmates to take medications to treat their mental illnesses and is concerned about the reasons this is being done against the inmates’ will. The legislator asks for a meeting with members of the prison clinic, and you are tasked to explain the reasoning for the forced medication program. The following are questions being asked by the legislator that need to be addressed:

Why are diagnosed with mental health problem inmates being held in a jail-type facility?
What is the reason the inmates are being given drugs?
How can the prison clinic be forcing inmates to take the drugs against their will?

About 1.2 million living with mental illnesses across the world are in jail. The prisoners are held in an environment that exposes them to serious mental illness. The harsh environmental and living conditions, high level of discrimination, assault, enforced solitude, lack of privacy and insecurity exposed to the inmates increases their chances of developing various kinds of mental illnesses. The high number of inmates with a mental health problem in jail is thus explained by the harsh environmental conditions and treatment that they are exposed to.

Prisoners with mental illnesses are held in a different jail due to the risk they pose to the other inmates. Mental illnesses are marred with serious complications on the individual as well as the persons around them. These mental ill prisoners can pose danger such as harm, fights and even death in serious cases to the other inmates.

While discussions on the issues of mental health are considered an effective preventive strategy that can be adopted in avoiding the rising cases of mental illnesses in jail. limited approaches have been implemented to address the same. This has forced the management to revert to the use of medication as a curative method of controlling mental illnesses.