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Old July 11th, 2015, 04:15 PM   #1
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Mental Illness and Jails: Race Is Left Out of the Equation

Mental Illness and Jails: Race Is Left Out of the Equation

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. . .

In the intersection between mental health and incarceration, at least four racial issues surface. First, the petition and recent reports present a static model of the relationship between mental health and incarceration. The assumed dynamic holds that people have pre-existing mental health issues, which get misinterpreted as criminality, resulting in arrest and lockup. The cure then becomes putting people into treatment rather than behind bars.
Mass incarceration has exacerbated and further racialized the problems of mental illness. It is both cause and effect.

While choosing treatment over incarceration may represent a step forward, policy makers and practitioners need to dig deeper into the complex root causes of mental illness. Often, treatment is far from enough. Mental illness can be the product of individual circumstances - a traumatic event, a person's brain chemistry or even their genetic makeup. However, a considerable body of research links many instances of mental illness to experiences of poverty and violence, which are disproportionate realities in poor communities of color.

Researcher Jack Carney outlines the relationship between poverty and mental illness in his provocatively titled article, "Poverty and Mental Illness: You Can't Have One Without The Other." Indeed, the violence of poverty can often trigger poor mental health. People may have mental illness because they have grown up without sufficient nutrition or without access to adequate education, housing or career opportunities. Mental illness may also be precipitated by an environment where fear of racialized police violence, deportation or domestic abuse is a constant reality.

These are structural problems which medication, therapy groups or wraparound services cannot reverse. As "Elizabeth," a homeless Massachusetts woman with a history of mental health problems, told Susan Sered, a Suffolk University professor, "I don't need to talk about my problems. I need a place to live so that I won't be scared all of the time."

The Trauma of Incarceration

Secondly, mass incarceration, which disproportionately impacts poor people of color, has exacerbated and further racialized the problems of mental illness. It is both cause and effect. Cycling in and out of prisons and jails is traumatic, often undermining prospects for economic and social stability. Long-term incarceration, especially in high security or supermax facilities, accentuates the problem. All of this has worsened due to the cutbacks in education and job training programs in prison in the last three decades, heightening the possibility of depression while incarcerated and lack of opportunity after release.

. . .
We are a cruel nation on many levels and have been since republicans have started the "privatization" of social institutions over 40 years ago; but this, incarcerating the mentally ill when Reagan closed the federal mental health facilities that then sent many veterans with mental illness from wars, is perhaps the most cruel of all actions.
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Old July 11th, 2015, 05:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LongWinded View Post
Mental Illness and Jails: Race Is Left Out of the Equation



We are a cruel nation on many levels and have been since republicans have started the "privatization" of social institutions over 40 years ago; but this, incarcerating the mentally ill when Reagan closed the federal mental health facilities that then sent many veterans with mental illness from wars, is perhaps the most cruel of all actions.
do you hear the quiet
lol. no one wants to get involved on this subject. what causes people to get sick.. i think i know.
when i saw what is going on in the east. no. thats not it..
when i happen to see whats going on in the east. normaly i stay away those things.
but what i saw and seeing its realy happening it made me sick.
cant explain it. not sick like my body. not sick in the head. its like a big down.
true sadness. the only other time i got like that was when my uncles died close apart.
in 1980. i did not think i would ever get over it. so i stay away from things
of the sort. its not healthy. or you will get sick. anyway glad your
all feeling beter LOL
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Old July 12th, 2015, 02:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dusty View Post
do you hear the quiet
lol. no one wants to get involved on this subject. what causes people to get sick.. i think i know.
when i saw what is going on in the east. no. thats not it..
when i happen to see whats going on in the east. normaly i stay away those things.
but what i saw and seeing its realy happening it made me sick.
cant explain it. not sick like my body. not sick in the head. its like a big down.
true sadness. the only other time i got like that was when my uncles died close apart.
in 1980. i did not think i would ever get over it. so i stay away from things
of the sort. its not healthy. or you will get sick. anyway glad your
all feeling beter LOL
This pertains to schizophrenia, bi-polar, etc., which can be controlled with medication but without medication blows up and causes problems which should be treated in a mental health facility and would be if this were a nation of Christians. It's not.
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