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The Criminalization of Mental Illness Chapter One Introduction Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press.

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Presentation on theme: "The Criminalization of Mental Illness Chapter One Introduction Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Criminalization of Mental Illness Chapter One Introduction Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press

2 Ernest Hemingway said: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” Why might the beginning chapter of the book be started off with this quote? Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press

3 One in four individuals has a diagnosable mental illness over the span of a year Approximately 6% have a serious mental illness The following “serious” or “severe” mental illnesses are the primary focus of the text: – Schizophrenia – Schizoaffective Disorder – Bipolar Disorder – Major Depressive Disorder with psychotic features Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press

4 Schizophrenia Hallucinations (false sensory perceptions, which can affect any of the 5 senses) Delusions (a fixed, false belief held despite impossibility) Cognitive disorganization (a cluster of symptoms considered to be the most noticeable to others, such as “word salad”) “Negative symptoms” (labeled as such because they represent an absence of experiences that most people without schizophrenia have and/or the individual experienced prior to the onset of his/her illness. Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press

5 Anosognosia (can also accompany schizophrenia as well as other mental illnesses) is described as: a lack of insight into one’s illness Many of those with mental illness do not realize they are ill. Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press

6 Bipolar Disorder (it is estimated that 2.5% of the population will receive this diagnosis) can include Mania Depression Psychotic symptoms characterized by defective or lost contact with reality especially as evidenced by delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech and behavior. Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press

7 Major Depressive Disorder Characterized by extreme lows, although there is no manic component. Approximately 7% of adults will be diagnosed with MDD, while 30% of these are considered severe. Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press

8 Being atavistic refers to being a throwback to an earlier evolutionary stage, primitive, or animalistic in nature. Phrenology (was the primitive process of studying bumps on the head to identify malformations of the brain that might be linked to crime; a concept practiced within the Positive School of Criminology founded by Cesare Lombroso). Physiognomy (was the primitive process of judging character by facial features). Criminals/persons with mental illness have been perceived as “toxic waste.” Law enforcement and jails have served a cleansing, social sanitation role. Social sanitation has been a process of sweeping the unsightly rabble, those unable to adapt, off the streets and putting them out of sight and out of mind. According to Wahl, PWMI are not typically physically different in appearance from persons without mental illness. Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press

9 The three largest inpatient psychiatric facilities in the United States are jails. Los Angeles County Jail Rikers Island, New York Cook County Jail, Chicago The largest inpatient psychiatric institution in your home state is very likely a jail or prison. More PWMI are residing in jails and prisons today than in public psychiatric hospitals. Trans-institutionalization refers to the movement of persons with mental illnesses from the mental health to the criminal justice system. Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press

10 Traditionally criminal justice practitioners have been largely untrained and ill-equipped to deal with persons with mental illnesses in crises. While recidivism rates are high for offenders in general, PWMI who repeatedly recycle through the criminal justice system are often referred to as “frequent flyers.” Although most PWMI who have contact with the CJ system are not violent, research verifies that individuals with mental illnesses have a tendency to remain in custody for longer periods of time than those persons brought in on similar charges who are not mentally ill. Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press

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