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Criminal Justice and Social Work

Autor:   •  July 3, 2017  •  1,920 Words (8 Pages)  •  671 Views

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I found this a little shocking seven percent of the inmates who enter jail or prison on yearly bases have a serious or persistent mental illness. They have closed all he mental hospitals around us saying it cost too much to keep them running, but this leads to arguments that say wrong it causes more problems. For example it causes jails to be over crowed and it cost about twenty five- thousand too house an inmate, so why not put that towards the money of the hospital.

Another issues with no mental hospitals is the person is not getting proper care, yes they get meds well in jail or prison but when released they no longer get it so they are back to where they started. If the money used to house the seven percent that are known and others that do have mental illness they could afford to open a few, saving room in jails/ prisons for the people who do need to be there and dropping recidivism rates down because these people will get their meds and services that are needed.

This is also an area of concern in regards to safety for the mental ill and for the other in mates. The mental ill have a hard time following the strict rules set forth in prison/ jails cause them to get other punishments. As their mental illness gets worse from not getting the proper care they progress which cause unusual or even unsafe behavior for all. All of these issues make it harder for the mentally ill to handle the situation causing higher suicide rates. (www.mindsontheedge.com) Also not a surprise but a another reason these people need a facility not a prison/ jail fifty percent of these mentally ill inmates are put in prison for things such as petty theft, trespassing, public urination but non violent crimes so why do they get longer sentences and put in jail/ prison where life becomes harder for all in the situation.

The government does have means for the proper care but they don’t see it or just don’t care. Here are some facts to back this up, a study done in Summit County, Ohio found that the government spent a million dollars in year on just twenty inmates who kept a offending, by put in a hospital for 72 hours, detoxing them or jailed. A million could open and run a hospital for these inmates a year easily I’m sure(www.mindsontheedge.com) Another study from Pennsylvania found that inmates with a mental illness cost almost twice as much per day as those who do not have a mental illness. (www.mindsontheedge.com)

Funding:

This the third problem the criminal justice system faces and where social workers find it hard to work n the criminal justice system. The government, county and state are finding it hard to keep the funding need for the programs like probation, rehabilitation options and resources and social workers hire. The numbers needed are high to fill enough positions to help the number of inmates that keep entering the system. Police and other agencies are feeling the pain to because they are in high demand but are on force in low numbers. Many programs have been cut and even more have been deleted because they cannot afford to the employees and keep adequate services provided so this opens the door for more crimes, more inmates and more problems for the neighbor hoods and for the community law enforcement agency that take part in this.

With funding cut to agencies, crime on the rise and inmate number on the rise to what can be done to fix some of the issues a hand? The programs and all the people are needed that’s why they were set in place but no one seems to know what to do to fix this if we do not have money and no outside resources either. An example of a major cut is the social work aspect of this in our area would be the 68th district probation that is getting ready to close. The judges are going to be left to watch over the probationers, which is not a good outlook. Judges do not have the proper time to watch, monitor and see these people once a month at least to keep up on their progress and the judges do not have the training that probation, parole and social workers have either.

Other concern:

The other concern or issue at hand is we send people to jail, prison without knowing anything about them. Some of these people have issues that we don’t see. Jails and prisons don’t have the time or money to identify if there are issues, what the issues are and how to treat them. If they know you are on med you will probably get them but if you are not and need them you may not get them well incarcerated.

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