The mental health of federal offenders: a summative review of the prevalence literature.
ABSTRACT To date, only a small number of government and peer-reviewed studies have examined the mental health of federal offenders. Although these studies provide isolated bits of information they have yet to be organized into a coherent body of knowledge from which clinicians, administrators and policy makers can inform their work. As a first step in constructing this knowledge and understanding the possible mental health needs of this population (currently America's largest correctional population), this paper delineates the available government and peer-reviewed studies on federal offenders, highlights their convergent findings, and suggests opportunities for growth in research, administration and policy.
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ABSTRACT: While most people make staying out of jail and prison a priority, a growing number of researchers are eager to get into correctional facilities in order to study the criminal justice system, the causes and consequences of incarceration, and the role of corrections in our society. For health researchers and their collaborators, the audience for this chapter, correctional facilities offer several unique advantages: a population at high risk of many health problems including infectious and chronic diseases, substance abuse, and mental health problems; social and physical environments that can enhance or impede well-being; a setting that is a focal point for the class, racial/ethnic, and gender differences that divide the United States; a site where health and mental health services and prevention programs are offered and can be evaluated; a controlled environment for administration of treatments such as directly observed therapy for tuberculosis; and a stopping point in the cycle of incarceration and reentry that so profoundly affects community well-being.Public Health Behind Bars, 12/2006: pages 415-433;
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ABSTRACT: Maturing behavioral science research in corrections to the next level of organization requires several strategies, each of which moves toward the one ideal of integration and collaboration. Several factors intrinsic to the business of research, its funding sources, and its incentives produce multiple levels of isolation, generate and maintain a fragmented state of knowledge, and limit the strength of behavioral sciences research in corrections. To raise consciousness of this issue, the factors underlying and sustaining this isolation and fragmented knowledge base are delineated. In addition, several strategies to strengthen the behavioral-sciences research process in corrections are presented. Specifically, they involve working toward the construction of research infrastructures built into correctional systems, developing collaborative models that extend beyond mere discussions and sharing of ideas between scientists and practitioners, and integrating once-disparate streams of literature and knowledge.Criminal Justice and Behavior 07/2007; 34(7):933-944. DOI:10.1177/0093854807301562 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationship between the overall rate of psychiatric disorders and suicides in the nation's largest state prison population. Data from 234,031 Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates who were incarcerated for any duration between September 2006 and September 2007 were analyzed by Poisson regression, to assess the independent associations of major psychiatric disorders and demographic characteristics with suicide. Across the entire study cohort, 41 inmates (18 per 100,000) were reported to have committed suicide during the 12-month follow-up period; 21 of them had a diagnosis of a serious mental illness. An elevated risk of suicide was observed among inmates with major depressive disorder (relative risk [RR] = 5.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.9-13.8), bipolar disorder (RR = 4.6, CI = 1.3-15.9), and schizophrenia (RR = 7.3, CI = 1.7-15.9). The highest overall risk was present in those inmates with a nonschizophrenic psychotic disorder (RR = 13.8, CI = 5.8-32.9). These findings highlight the importance of maintaining suicide prevention programs in correctional settings, with particular emphasis on screening and monitoring of patients with severe psychiatric disorders.The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 02/2009; 37(2):188-93. · 0.93 Impact Factor