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Bureau of Jails Study-Mental Health

Essay Topic: ,

Explain what a DSM-IV manual is, and how it was used in the Bureau of Justice (BJS) study? The abbreviation DSM-IV refers to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition. It was used in the BJS study to establish the baseline against which symptoms of mental illness in the study would be evaluated (James & Glaze, 2006). 2. What percentage of inmates in the federal prisons has mental illness problems? How does that number compare with inmates who are in local jails and state prisons?

How do these percentages (about mental illness) compare with non-incarcerated people in the USA? According to James & Glaze, 45% of federal inmates have mental illness problems, as opposed to 64% in local jails and 56% in state prisons. In comparison, non-incarcerated people in the USA over the age of 18 have an 11% rate of mental illness. 3. What type of “mental illness” is most prevalent among prison and jail inmates? What symptoms would a person exhibit with this type of mental illness?

Among prison and jail inmates, major depression is the most prevalent “mental illness”, characterized by extreme anger, inability to sleep or excessive sleeping (James & Glaze, 2006).

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4. Discuss the prevalence of mental illness as it relates to gender and race among incarcerated adults. Overall, according to James & Glaze, white females have the highest instances of mental illness among incarcerated adults. 5. Discuss how substance abuse relates to the prevalence of mental illness among incarcerated adults. Substance abuse plays a key role in the prevalence of mental illness among incarcerated adults.

In fact, there is a strong link between mental illness and the abuse of illegal drugs and binge drinking in the prison population. Additionally, those who came from families where substance abuse was commonplace were more likely to abuse substances and suffer the accompanying ill effects of that dangerous and often illegal behavior (James & Glaze, 2006). 6. What information from the study did you find most interesting? Most interesting in the study was the linking of incarcerated adults and the problems that most likely contributed to their fate, such as mental illness, substance abuse and the like.

Showing these associations makes it possible to attempt to address issues with individuals before they become prisoners. 7. What information learned in the study related to family members of incarcerated offenders? It would seem that incarceration runs in families; for example, the study cites the finding that the family members of incarcerated offenders are much more likely to have been or to become incarcerated themselves, as well as much more likely to be involved with substance abuse (James & Glaze, 2006).

8. Discuss what the study revealed about crimes being committed while the offender was on drugs. It would seem obvious that being on drugs would lead to the kind of impaired judgment and suppression of conscience that leads to the commission of crimes, but there requires more solid proof to establish this link, which is why the study was cited for an answer to this question.

According to James & Glaze, 37% of state prison inmates who had a mental health problem said they had used drugs at the time of their offense, compared to 26% of state prisoners without a mental health problem. Also, 34% of local inmates who had a mental health problem said they had used drugs at the time of their offense compared to 20% of local inmates who did not have a mental health problem. 9. Explain what the BJS study found about the prevalence of mentally ill inmates being repeat offenders – when compared with non-mentally ill inmates.

Lastly, James & Glaze’s findings about the prevalence of mentally ill inmates and repeat offenses as opposed to the non-mentally ill are discussed. In the local jails, 32% of repeat offenders had mental problems as opposed to 22% recidivism among the non-mentally ill. Works Cited James, Doris J. & Glaze, Lauren E. (2006). Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates. Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.

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