Title of Abstract

Mental and Physical Health in Prison: How Co-occurring Conditions Influence Inmate Misconduct

Submitting Student(s)

Dyamond-Marai DouglasFollow

Session Title

Mental Health and General Wellness

Faculty Mentor

Jennifer Disney, Ph.D.; Brendan Renallo-Benavidez, Ph.D.; disneyj@winthrop.edu; benavidezb@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Political Science

Faculty Mentor

Jennifer Disney, Ph.D. and Brandon Ranallo-Benavidez, Ph.D.

Abstract

The American prison population confines over two-million people in national prisons and jails, a 500% increase in 40 years. Though national and state laws have been implemented regarding the prison systems, some laws exacerbated the problem instead of providing a remedy. A large issue concerns how the criminal justice system generally, and the prison/jail confinement system in particular, runs afoul of psychologists’ recommendations. While incarcerated, inmates encounter immense mental health challenges, thus, increasing the likelihood of an inmate experiencing solitary confinement as a means of protection or of punishment. Once released from confinement, inmates face barriers as they attempt to re-enter civilian society. Given that so many opportunities, services, and rights are limited, many of the former incarcerated relapse, thereby increasing recidivism rates. This paper highlights why it is crucial to understand how and why imprisonment can exacerbate mental health conditions. Prior research shows the (mis)conduct of inmates correlates with many factors, including their experiences within the carceral system. Poor mental health drives both the misconduct and crimes committed before imprisonment and while behind bars. There is a paucity of research investigating the relationship between concurring conditions and misconduct in prison systems. Nonetheless, there is data demonstrating that inmates dealing with concurrent mental and physical health problems are more likely to engage in misconduct, compared to inmates who are mentally healthy. This paper explores the mental health effects of solitary confinement, contributes to this literature, and supports a prohibition on the practice.

Honors Thesis Committee

N/A

Course Assignment

N/A

Other Presentations/Performances

N/A

Previously Published

N/A

Grant Support

N/A

Recognized with an Award?

N/A

Performance Description

N/A

Special Needs

N/A

Start Date

16-4-2021 2:30 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 16th, 2:30 PM

Mental and Physical Health in Prison: How Co-occurring Conditions Influence Inmate Misconduct

The American prison population confines over two-million people in national prisons and jails, a 500% increase in 40 years. Though national and state laws have been implemented regarding the prison systems, some laws exacerbated the problem instead of providing a remedy. A large issue concerns how the criminal justice system generally, and the prison/jail confinement system in particular, runs afoul of psychologists’ recommendations. While incarcerated, inmates encounter immense mental health challenges, thus, increasing the likelihood of an inmate experiencing solitary confinement as a means of protection or of punishment. Once released from confinement, inmates face barriers as they attempt to re-enter civilian society. Given that so many opportunities, services, and rights are limited, many of the former incarcerated relapse, thereby increasing recidivism rates. This paper highlights why it is crucial to understand how and why imprisonment can exacerbate mental health conditions. Prior research shows the (mis)conduct of inmates correlates with many factors, including their experiences within the carceral system. Poor mental health drives both the misconduct and crimes committed before imprisonment and while behind bars. There is a paucity of research investigating the relationship between concurring conditions and misconduct in prison systems. Nonetheless, there is data demonstrating that inmates dealing with concurrent mental and physical health problems are more likely to engage in misconduct, compared to inmates who are mentally healthy. This paper explores the mental health effects of solitary confinement, contributes to this literature, and supports a prohibition on the practice.