The number of inmates with severe mental disorders in correctional facilities has been increasing at an alarming rate. Individuals with mental conditions appear in courts in much higher frequencies than in emergency rooms or psychiatric clinics. This seems to be the result of a mental health policy, which states that a person with mental disorder(s) has to be an imminent danger—to the society or to self—before a third party can successfully intervene.
Thus individuals with schizophrenia do not receive timely medical intervention and are often found to offend the public in a myriad of ways leading to their arrest. Consequently, a large portion of individuals with schizophrenia is misdirected to the criminal justice system where cure is not an option. Such cases are often followed by suicide. The presentation talks about the inadequacy of existing policies to provide a safety net to patients with schizophrenia, and presents data to support that the policies need immediate revision and mentally ill individuals need a better support system and safety net.
Sanjeev Khatiwada, ’13
Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Psychology
Sponsor: Anne Busha