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“What I Learned from Six Days and Nights in Jail”  

Author:  Dr. Carol Ray.; Gary F. Cornelius.

Source: Volume 20, Number 03, March/April 2019 , pp.33-36(4)

Correctional Health Care Report

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Dr. Carol R. Ray has been working with a chapter of National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) training sheriff’s deputies and jail officers on best practices for handling detainees who exhibit signs of mental illness. Anyone who has worked in corrections knows all too well the problems of mentally ill offenders encountering the criminal justice system. If not diverted for assessment and treatment, many end up in our nation’s jails. The local jail has become the neighborhood mental hospital, and an estimated 64% of inmates in local jails have some type of mental health problem. What makes Dr. Ray different from most trainers is that she is not only a Ph.D., but also suffers from bi-polar disorder and was arrested and jailed as the result of a psychotic episode. Dr. Ray has come forward with her story in an effort to enlighten corrections staff on what it is like for someone with a mental health problem to be incarcerated in a local jail. This interview grew out of a training class Dr. Ray and Gary Cornelius created to help promote awareness and encourage better correctional practices for mentally ill detainees.

Keywords: Mental Health Staff Training; Service Failures; W. E. Deming’s “85/15” percent rule

Affiliations:  1: Mental Health Trainer; 2: ADJ Instructor.

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