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February 28, 2005
Prisons Overloaded w/Mentally Ill
Read more... Schizophrenia Advocacy
While the problem of USA prisons being overloaded with mentally ill prisoners is well known, a new report in by "Corrections Canada" (a government agency) reports that the same problem is true in Canada.
A recent news report by Canadian Press reports:
"An inept justice system is putting more mentally ill people in federal prisons, where there is little treatment available for them, says a newly released report.
Corrections Canada must spend more on doctors and facilities to treat as many as 1,500 prisoners who need urgent help each day, the internal study concludes.
"The criminal justice system continues to be used to catch those who fall through the gaps in Canada's social safety net," says the Corrections Canada report, obtained under the Access to Information Act."
Corrections Canada does no formal clinical assessment of new prisoners who may have mental health problems, such as schizophrenia or personality disorders.
The report, prepared last summer for the department's executive committee, says that on any given day, 2,154 offenders are suffering from an anxiety disorder; 375 are suffering from organic brain problems, such as fetal alcohol syndrome; and 7,125 are suffering from an antisocial personality disorder. Many struggle with more than one problem.
Research suggests about 11 per cent of newly arriving prisoners had a mental disorder in 2004, compared with about seven per cent in 1997.
Corrections Canada runs five mental health centres with beds for only 5.5 per cent of the total Canadian prison population.
The internal report was prompted in part by a complaint from the Kingston branch of the John Howard Society to the Canadian Human Rights Commission about the local mental health facility.
USA - Mentally Ill in Prisons Report - As many as one in five (20%) of the 2.1 million Americans in jail and prison are seriously mentally ill, far outnumbering the number of mentally ill who are in mental hospitals, according to a comprehensive study. Source: Human Rights Watch
Posted by szadmin at February 28, 2005 06:04 PM
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