Why are mental health problems pervasive in correctional facilities?
There is a growing scientific consensus that proper mental health care is one of the most important parts of rehabilitation for incarcerated individuals. Mental health treatment is one of the most effective components in reducing the likelihood of repeat offenses. Although mental health disorders are neither a necessary nor a sufficient factor in either criminal activity or violence, mental health issues undoubtedly contribute to the likelihood of running afoul of the law.
In the United States, there are more mentally ill people in correctional facilities than there are in mental health hospitals. Many criminal offenders struggle with mental illness and wind up in a correctional facility, and many incarcerated individuals develop psychological conditions as a result of their confinement. The rate of mental illness in prisons may be as high as two to four times greater than in the general public.
Providing proper mental health services to people in jails, prisons, halfway houses and other facilities helps everyone. Inmates get the psychiatric care that they need to become more productive members of society. In addition, the risk of suicide and other dangers can be mitigated, and healthy inmates are less likely to be involved in altercations with guards or other inmates while incarcerated.
By giving your correctional facility access to telepsychiatry, you can provide the mental health care that your inmates both need and deserve, without incurring the risk, inconvenience, and cost of either transporting inmates to treatment centers or transporting mental health professionals to your institution.