Why do so many people with Poor Mental Health end up in Prison?

The complex relationship between the social issues of criminal behaviour, involvement within the criminal justice system (CJS) and poor mental health show no discrimination of class, race, gender, sexuality, location, culture or ethnicity.  In the UK alone as of March 2017, the prison population stood at 85,476 persons - 81,537 male prisoners and 3,939 female prisoners (Ministry of Defence, 2017).  What is not so clear, however, because of insufficient data, is how many of these individuals entered prison with pre-existing mental health issues (MHI) or how many have since developed MHI that need transferring out of custody for treatment (The Prison Reform Trust, 2016)?

 

How Might Community Development Improve the Mental Health of Service Users and the Wider Public?

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests the most marginalised or least powerful members of society, for example, the poor, the young, and minority groups, especially those with mental health (MH) needs experience the greatest vulnerabilities, instabilities, stigmatisation, disconnection and discrimination. Each of these experiences can, and often does lead to social exclusion within the context of ‘community’, their local residential area and connecting geographical areas, and the population within them (Open University, 2015: Christens, 2012).

The SEEP Model: How is Mental Health influenced by External Factors?

Mental health is dynamic and multifaceted and its experience and meaning have been well documented and debated over time.  Ryff (1995) suggests that positive self-attitudes, and self-actualization, with the integration of autonomy and positive relationships, as well as the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotion, especially when dealing with relational and environmental change and uncertainty all promote mental health and well-being.  This perspective is further quantified by The Royal College of Psychiatrists (2014), World Health Organization (2014) and The Mental Health Foundation (2014) cited in The Open University (2015).