The crime of mental illness

Canada needs to change its approach to mentally ill prisoners as correctional facilities worldwide contain a higher percentage of people with mental illness than the general population, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) .

Training of correctional staff, treatment programs for inmates and accurate data on the prevalence and consequences of mental health problems can help alleviate issues for people with mental health issues.

The higher percentage of inmates with mental health issues may be due to the fact people with significant mental health issues such as schizophrenia or personality disorders can act in socially inappropriate ways that can be misinterpreted or clash with the law. Prevention programs in the community are also needed to help address problems well before people might get in trouble with the law.

"Having people with treatable mental health disorders fall into the serves neither society nor the individual," write Dr. Paul Hebert, Editor-in-Chief and Dr. Noni MacDonald, Deputy Editor, CMAJ with Dr. Stephen Hucker, Forensic Psychiatrist, University of Toronto. "That so many inmates in jails and prisons have mental health disorders — often untreated — is an indictment of society's values and understanding of disorders."


Explore further

Majority of mentally ill inmates don't get treatment

More information: http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/doi/10.1503/cmaj.100405
Citation: The crime of mental illness (2010, May 31) retrieved 31 May 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2010-05-crime-mental-illness.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments