Is It Right To Place Mentally Ill Prisoners In 23 Hour Lockdown?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by NATO AIR, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    i do believe if you do the crime, you should do the time, but i am aware that there are severe problems in our nation's prisons systems in many areas. i'm of the mind that for most crimes, prisoners should be rehabilitated and educated while they're in prison, not just punished. that doesn't mean TVs and video games, but it should mean GED's and college classes they take out a special sort of loan to pay for if they show the effort.

    we had a near death in japan a few months ago, a marine was in the brig for fighting, got put in solitary (the "hole") for a week for more fighting, and according to the master at arms (MP's), went crazy. by their own admission, it now seems inapproriate to place a mentally ill person (he'd been seeing a psych for five weeks) in that kind of environment. point being, a good marine who was mentally ill nearly killed himself, and though much of the blame lies on his shoulders, some of it went justly to the military for not ID'ing his risk factor in this area and guarding against it.

    i read the following article from the village voice, about two mentally ill men who committed suicide possibly as a result of this punishment. http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0351/gonnerman.php

    i'm not asking for the release of prisoners such as this but don't you think there are better ways of dealing with guys who are mentally ill and are suicide risks in this situation?
     
  2. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    There are better ways of dealing with mentally ill inmates but at the present time they are not practicle and extremely expensive. The public is generally apathetic about mentally ill people until it affects them personally and the stigma against mental illness is still powerful. In some mental hospitals, troublesome patients are put in solitary environments where they can be watched constantly so they cannot hurt themselves or others. This is all to be carefully documented (mostly for the protection of the hospital).

    Medication is the treatment of choice for people with a high suicidal risk and it has to be given and monitored carefully. The trend for some time now has been to medicate ALL mentally ill people and get them back out in society. ( it's cheaper than hospitalization ). These patients often end up in the criminal system where they maybe completely unaware of the persons hisory of mental illness. It would be incredibly expensive and time consuming to diagnose and treat everyone that is being incarcerated. Suicides also occur in the general cell block so there is no real conclusive evidence that the isolation causes the behavior.

    I think suicides will continue whether or not it is treated. The marine obviously needs a medical discharge but that is no guarantee that he will not eventually kill himself anyway.
     

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