Shunk,Cynthia. Thetreatment of criminals with disabilities: an ongoing debate.Diss. University of Toledo, 2008.
Becauseof the increasingly high number of persons with mental disability inthe American prisons, the author is determined to help in answeringthe question regarding the most suitable treatment for prisoners withdisabilities. The project explores the treatment of individuals withvarious forms of disabilities in the course of their criminal legalsentence and incarceration. In particular, Shunk is concerned withhow the offenders with disabilities are handled by the Federal systemof justice and in custodies within the U.S. and particularly inNorthwest Ohio. The study covers the forms of disabilities, the typeof accommodation the captives get, available knowledge regarding thecurrent laws that govern how the inmates need to be treated, as wellas the practices by policy makers for bettering care for criminalswith disabilities.
Approachand data collection method
Thestudy utilized available literature and examines how courts andprison administrators make decisions regarding the right treatmentfor the indicted and convicted lawbreakers. In addition, theresearcher interviewed a total of nine people selected from NorthwestOhio courts and prisons. They included two juries, two prosecutingattorneys, two prisoner services leaders, and three ADA directors.Their role in the research was to assist in detailing how convictswith disabilities are cared for while they are under the criminaljustice system. For a comprehensive study process, the researcherensured that the participants were from four different regions inOhio. They were contacted via both telephone and email. Moreover, theparticipants had a broad age bracket where the youngest was 34 yearsold while the eldest was 53 years old. In this case, the median agewas 43. In addition, there were four men and five women in the study.The sample members were all voluntary participants as each of themhad allowed permission for any aspect of the survey. The interview onthe decision makers explored their encounters with the suspects andprisoners with disabilities.
Thedeductions involved what the participants believe should be done tocertify that the suspects and convicts with disabilities obtainsuitable accommodations. Most of the court representatives who tookpart in the study believe that offenders are treated justly. A memberargued that prisoners with disabilities need to be treated in similarways as those without any forms of complications. His point ofdisagreement was that whenever the offenders are provided with extraprivileges, they end up becoming more rebellious and their conditionsdeteriorate even further. Others hold the notion that the practice ofspecial treatment can harm the individuals after their release sincethey may not be provided with the same comfort once they are in theoutside world. However, the second group, consisting of the prisonofficials, thinks that there should be additional attention offeredto persons with disabilities. They have the opinion thatadministrators need to have well-informed training so that they canknow the wishes of convicts with disabilities. It is recommended thatbetter accommodations services must be availed to check high rates ofre-offense. In other words, they believe that the criminal justicesystem should serve as a complete program for rehabilitating inmatesregardless of their physical or mental states.
Thecourt and prison officials lack full information relating to thepolicies governing treatment for convicts with disabilities. This isproven by the fact that a majority of the participants show contentwith the existing accommodation practices in prisons. They appear notto notice the prevalent insufficiency of resources. However, there isa group of officials who believe that the criminal system of justicestill calls for improvement. The obvious inconsistency of views maybe an outcome of the fact that juries and public prosecutors meetwith the characters momentarily while prison officials stay with themfor lengthier periods of time. Nevertheless, it may also be likelythat since the court representatives do not provide accommodations,they do not understand the experiences of the accused persons withdisabilities. In comparison, prison officers know the kind ofexperiences the prisoners undergo. As a result, there should becontinued treatment after they enter prison. Before release, allprisoners must be assessed for any post-discharge mental conditions.Where applicable, they should be taken to mental health facilitiesfor ease in the delivery of mental health treatment.
Vallas,R., (2016). Disabled Behind Bars: TheMass Incarceration of People with Disabilities in America’s Jailsand Prisons.Center for American Progress.
Itis a predominant matter that people with disabilities are highlyoverrepresented in the country’s prisons and jails. Massconfinement of persons with disabilities is seen as unfair, immoral,and punishing practice. In addition to encounters with unbalancedrates of custody, individuals with disabilities are equally moreexpected to be the targets of police violence. The researcherilluminates the problems that the people with disabilities encounterwhile behind bars. The central question that the Vallas attempts toanswer is why the persons are mostly denied basic medical care,needed supports services, as well as accommodations upon charges orsentence. The criminal justice system practitioners have not beenkeen in observing the historical rules on civic disability rightsthat necessitate special treatment for people with disability whilein custody. Individuals with physical or intellectual disorderscomprise the largest section of those confined.
Theauthor used existing literature to explore the poor states in thecriminal justice system and the effect on the person with physical orpsychological health problems. There was the concern that the poorhealth care in prisons not only worsens their present disorders butalso leads to additional complications. As a result, the researchexplored articles with topics related to inmates and disabilities insolitary confinements. Through the literature, the report illustratessteps policymakers need to embrace for them to battle the unjust andinappropriate incarceration and prosecution of persons withdisabilities. In addition, through the analysis, the author documentsprocedures to ensure proper and civilized treatment of individualswith disabilities all through the justice system.
Thereport indicates that reduced incarnation of persons with disabilitycan help in saving taxpayer money because there will not beunnecessary spending in treating their deteriorating health. Withfewer cases of such people, the law enforcement will findalternatives that help in handling them in a way that can stopnegative impacts of detention, trial, and incarceration. Moreover,there will be no instances of poor health conditions, excessivefines, disruption of work or schooling, and impairment to familyrelationships. With an efficient law enforcement training throughcrisis intervention and collaboration teams, there will be ease inavoiding violence and unnecessary arrests. The intervention groupswill also be important in improving access to mental health services.The report notes that the best practices are those that show concernfor mental health conditions and how to react to crisis related topsychological conditions.
Asemphasized, people with mental disabilities are typicallyoverrepresented in the America’s prisons and jails. Individuals whoare intellectually retarded, as well as those with learningdisorders, are among the significant prison populations. As a result,most states consider it an important practice to employ integratedapproaches in situations of crisis. For instance, officers whoreceive disability-related training have a high likelihood ofassisting rather than arresting individuals with disability unlikethose with no extensive education on psychology. Even though traininglinked to law is not solely sufficient, it can serve as a componentof the larger process of restructuring. As a substitute to the massimprisonment, there should be community centers that ensure thepeople with disabilities are in the rightful services rather thanjail rooms. Besides, this kind of amenities can be useful in linkingthe persons with disabilities to the stakeholders who may beinterested in helping them. The essence of shared interventionapproaches is that they help as models of service distribution andcase handling facilities intended to keep individuals with seriousconditions away from jails and prisons. As evidenced, many citieshave seen the need to reduce the rates of incarceration because ofthe rising number of reports of deteriorating health conditions. Eventhough it may not be an obvious fact in some states, cutting down thepopulation of mentally ill individuals in prisons is an effectivesolution for people living with the severest mental disorders. Moreimportantly, the interventions become more efficient when lawenforcement agencies partner with local health sectors and socialservice providers within communities. The integration assists increating customized programs for the persons with disabilities.
Steinberg,D., Mills, D., & Romano, M. (2014). When Did Prisons becomeAcceptable Mental Healthcare Facilities. PaloAlto, CA: Three Strikes Project, Stanford University School of Law.
TheAmerican criminal justice system has a long-standing history ofmassive oppression imposed upon the mentally challenged. Even thoughdeinstitutionalization originally came as an approach to avail morerefined services to the intellectually ill in society, a number ofrepresentatives have changed its meaning and made it a source ofpersonal finances. The consequence is that most of the healthfacilities have been closed and their roles bestowed to prisons. Thejails are made to accommodate huge numbers of mentally illindividuals. The author is driven by the fact that Californiaofficials are concerned with progress but they do not have theinformation about where to start. The report tries to respond to theconcern that prisons have become mental health accommodations besidestheir roles of keeping lawbreakers away from the public. Jails andprisons are inappropriate places for housing the mentally challengedindividuals.
Thereport utilized various pieces of evidence from California prisons toreveal how the number of persons with disabilities has been on therise in the recent past. This comes immediately after the closure ofthe medical facilities that earlier on helped in holding the mentallychallenged individuals. California is used as the basis for thereport because of its many incidences of incarceration even inmatters that treatment could be the solution. The state has neglectedthe services of community-based mental health sectors. For example,in the early 1970s, there were only 20,000 prisoners in the prisonsof California. However, it is noted that by the year 2010, the figurehad risen to over 160,000 individuals, of which 45% were mentallyill. The author believes that through denouncing the unfair practicesin the society, there can be the realization of reduced cases ofunwarranted incarceration of the mentally ill individuals.
Thefocus on the mentally challenged in the U.S. is on the decline. Thereport shows that the population of the mentally ill treated while inprisons is more than in any other healthcare system. At the moment,the country incarcerates an approximate 350,000 convicts who sufferfrom severe mental conditions. The figure is purported to be close to10 times the population accommodated in the country’s psychiatrichospitals. For example, California alone has more than 30,000 inmateswho are critically mentally ill as opposed to more than quarter thefigure in state psychiatric clinics. This makes CDCR the primarymental health care provider in the state. Even though reforms havecaused significant changes in prison mental health facilities,psychological care in custody remains below the legal standards.Besides, because of their disciplinary roles, prisons are not fittedwith complete therapeutic items required by the mentally ill. Inother words, prisons and other forms of confinements are unfriendlysettings that even the most resilient prisoners cannot withstand.Obviously, these traumatic conditions have psychological impacts onpsychologically ill convicts.
Thereis so much essential information in the article. It points out thatthe policy makers have not been able to consider the fact that thepsychiatric conditions of the mentally ill place them at an increasedrisk of being involved in the violation of national laws.Furthermore, their rebellious nature may also result from thepunitive measures they encounter while serving their terms in theprison environment. Unfortunately, due to their psychiatric illness,psychologically challenged inmates are more likely to be contained indisciplinary isolation where they are exposed to even more severedispossessions. For those with prior mental disorders, psychiatricsymptoms may often deteriorate because most penal units are managedin a way that it becomes difficult for the mentally ill convicts toreceive treatment. In this view, there is the need to make reforms onhow to charge the mentally ill. Prison terms should justify themental wellbeing of every perpetrator. Where appropriate, thereshould be out of prison punishment for defendants accused with anonaggressive crimes. Similarly, there needs to be meaningfulaccommodation in prison settings. When a sentencing justice findsthat a suspect’s serious crime was majorly the result of a mentalcondition, they should recommend the offender for an effective mentalhealth care as part of the conditions and terms of incarceration.
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Steinberg,D., Mills, D., & Romano, M. (2014). When Did Prisons becomeAcceptable Mental Healthcare Facilities. PaloAlto, CA: Three Strikes Project, Stanford University School of Law.California.Legislature. Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Legislative Analyst,& Shunk, Cynthia. Thetreatment of criminals with disabilities: an ongoing debate.Diss. University of Toledo, 2008.
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Vallas,R., (2016). Disabled Behind Bars: TheMass Incarceration of People with Disabilities in America’s Jailsand Prisons.Center for American Progress.
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