It’s sad that today in our world it needs to be stated that incarcerated individuals deserve just as much access to mental health care as the rest of the population. If proper mental health help is given to inmates, we may see a reduced number of inmates and a lower rate of recidivism. This will not happen overnight, but if we start taking steps in this direction now, we may see the benefits of inmates having access to proper mental health care.
The Changing Lives and Changing Outcomes Program
According to the American Psychological Association, Robert Morgan, PhD is using this program to reduce antisocial thinking and behavioral patterns, otherwise known as “criminalness.” He believes the combination of mental health care and criminalness treatment is critical because inmates learn not only how to cope with mental illness, but they also learn important life skills like how to challenge antisocial thought patterns and how to create connections with others.
The Benefits of Pre-Booking and Court-Based Diversion Programs
According to Psychology Today, Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia believes that these programs will reduce time of incarceration for mentally ill individuals in prison. However, current programs are not reducing recidivism. She believes that in order to be truly effective, the care starts at the jail and must be continued when they are released from jail.
My work with the boys in juvenile prison at the New Jersey Training School for Boys underscores my passion for expanding programs like this. Everyone deserves the space to learn and get a second chance, and they show me every day why I do what I do.