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Jail Mental Health Programs — Linking with Community Resources  

Author:  Robert W.  May, M.S..

Source: Volume 04, Number 01, November/December 2002 , pp.1-3(3)

Correctional Health Care Report

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The management and treatment of inmates with mental disorders is a growing problem for jail operators. With jail populations already above capacity, the increasing percentage of inmates entering jails with mental illness presents additional management challenges in regards to housing and meeting the basic treatment needs of these inmates. Though jails are not typically designed as treatment centers for persons with mental illness, today they comprise the largest mental health institutions in the United States. A variety of factors contribute to this dynamic, including the reduction of community based inpatient and residential programs for the chronically mentally ill, “get tough on crime” legislation and changing social attitudes towards the care and treatment of persons with mental illness. With fewer placement and treatment options available in the public mental health care system, jails have become the de facto primary mental health institutions.

Keywords: Screening, Evaluation, Medication, Crisis Intervention, Suicide Prevention, On-Site Services, Local Providers

Affiliations:  1: Behavioral Health Management, Inc..

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