Modern psychology has brought us a lot of insight into the human mind and what can go wrong with it. However, mental illness is still stigmatized and even worse, many times it is criminalized.
When mentally ill people commit crimes, they are rarely offered any treatment while they serve their sentence. Or, the inmates are misdiagnosed, under diagnosed, or not allowed medication that works for them because of jail policy.
Mikal Watts tells us that there are many mental illnesses present in the prison populations around America, but too often they grouped together as one without discrimination. This has led to devastating effects for both inmates and correctional staff alike.
Hillary Clinton, who recently announced her run for the 2016 presidential campaign, gave a speech addressing the United States prison population saying, “It’s a stark fact that the United Stations has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. The numbers today are much higher than they were 30, 40 years ago, despite the fact that crime is at historic low.”
One thing is clear, something needs to change. We can learn from other countries and give treatment to those who are in desperate need of it.