Psychological Interventions in Forensic Settings
In previous chapters, we have discussed the various mental health issues that can arise after a defendant is charged with a criminal offense (e.g., is he or she competent to proceed to trial, was he or she lacking criminal responsibility due to a mental disease or defect). In this chapter we will discuss some of the ways the criminal justice system intervenes in these prisoners’ lives. The above vignette about Tom unfortunately is a common response by prison staff, many of whom do not appreciate the desperation of a mentally ill inmate. Some question the ability of prison officials to ever adequately understand or provide for the needs of the mentally ill, stating that the goals of the prison system are to punish the offender and protect society rather than rehabilitate and reform. Yet, look at the statistics of who ends up in prison; certainly those from the underbelly of society, lending support to the classical thinkers who believe that crime is based on ‘weak’ genes or other failures of strong will to avoid temptation as juxtaposed to the reformers who want to treat them more kindly given their backgrounds filled with abuse and despair. Prisons have the largest population of adult illiterates suggesting that both education and psychological treatment might reduce recidivism and produce better citizens when offenders return to society.
KeywordsDomestic Violence Criminal Justice System Dialectical Behavior Therapy Correctional Facility Drug Court
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