In 2005, more than half of all prisoners had experienced mental illness defined as “a recent history or symptoms of a mental health problem.” Jail inmates had the highest rates of symptoms of mental illness (60%), followed by state prisoners (49%) and federal prisoners (40%). (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics)
In 2005, 60% of jail inmates experienced “a recent history or symptoms of a mental health problem.”
Individuals with mental illnesses are significantly overrepresented in corrections criminal justice settings. Prevalence estimates of serious mental illness in jails are similarly high. In a study of more than 20,000 adults entering five local jails, researchers documented serious mental illnesses in … 16.9 percent of those studied—rates in excess of three to six times those found in the general population. (Source: Council of State Governments)
16.9% of jail inmates have a serious mental illness
Given the high rates of mental illnesses among jail and prison populations and their unique service needs, it’s important for community-based behavioral health care providers to offer effective post-release services to people with mental illnesses.
“Appropriate intervention in addiction, mental illness, and chronic infectious diseases among the reentering population could lead to improved public health and criminal justice outcomes.” (Source: The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights)