Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The emotional and psychological well-being of convicts in correctional facilities is of considerable concern for prison officials, the courts, the psychiatric community, and society in general. While counseling and treatment services are available in many correctional institutions, these facilities are often ill equipped to deal with persistent and severely mentally disordered offenders and those persons identified as dangerous and psychiatrically ill. In those instances where treatment is uneven, absent, or otherwise ineffective, questions remain about whether the correctional milieu is itself responsible for breeding and sustaining long-term mental illness and dysfunctional prison behavior. In the Western world, criminal (and civil) confinement of persons with mental disorders dates back many centuries. Historically, different cultures have had an uneasy relationship with how best simultaneously to address the needs of mentally ill citizens who engaged in criminal wrongdoing while also protecting the public from the likelihood of future harm. Within the United States, ...