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Prisoners with Special Needs

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Prisoners with Special Needs
Roy Briston
CJA/234
February 18, 2014

Prisoners with Special Needs

There are many inmates in prisons that have different special needs. Some of these needs are based on whether the inmates are male or female. Males have some special needs to take care of their selves that females do not and vice versa. Then there are those who suffer from a mental illness. Their special needs are much different than those who have basic needs. People who suffer from substance abuse have needs in the area of addiction. All these different kinds of people with diverse needs effect the jails and prisons in various ways. If people were not cared for properly there would be negative repercussions. There are programs in prisons that allow these prisoners to be cared for properly.

There are many special needs prisoners, one that many are familiar with are the mentally ill, and substance abusing. In 1955 there weren’t any mental institutions being built, and there were forty that were shut down about a decade ago. As of today there were more prisons opening up, and many people seemed the most qualified to care for and house these patients. Today prisons have taken on the lead role of caring for mentally ill patients, housing 45,000 in prison to 3,000 in mental institutions. Rehabilitation programs are lacking in the mentally ill category, therefore mentally ill prisoners usually return to prison.

There are many inmates in prisons that have different special needs. Some of these needs are based on the sex of the inmate. Male’s prisoners have a lot more special needs to take care of their selves, as the female’s prisoners do not. You also have inmates who suffer from a mental illness. Their special needs are much more different than those who have basic needs. People who suffer from substance abuse have needs in the area called addiction. With having these different kinds of individuals it affects the diverse needs, and affects the jails and prisons in various ways. If people were not care for properly there would be negative consequences. There are programs that help the prisoners and also in prisons that allow these prisoners to be cared for in a great way. Some of the prisoner’s special needs are having a physical disability, mental health needs, and special diet needs. Incarceration is not always the best option for those offenders that have special needs. Offenders that are deemed as special needs often times require more care than what is provided in a standard incarceration facility. When we look at offenders that have a learning disability or mental handicaps or offenders that are substance abusers, special care in incarceration and rehabilitation methods should be involved. By just incarcerating these individuals you are not setting them up for a successful and cost effective way of rehabilitation. Counseling, treatment, and various interventions strategies help in giving these offenders with special need the care they need while at the same time reducing the recidivism rate for these offenders.
Those offenders that are mentally handicapped, their presence in the prisons is ever growing. They are not receiving the proper care in jail/prison facilities. There are a few ways that offenders who are deemed mentally challenged can be dealt with. To overcome this problem, a half way house would be the best option for these individuals. Housing them in a secure environment where there is medically and physiologically trained staff available to provide care for these individuals, while at the same time conducting the appropriate counseling and rehabilitation for them would be the best option. This option not only keeps them in a secure setting, and after they have undergone a successful adjustment to a secure halfway house, they can be moved to a less restrictive setting in the community.
When looking at these two types of offenders with special needs, incarceration would not be the best approach. Incarceration would not provide them with the appropriate services and would not be cost effective. Simply incarcerating them would provide them with a disservice, it would only punish the offenders but not make an attempt to correct or alter the behavior of the individual. Proper steps through counseling, treatment, and diversion programs will provide these offenders with the proper care with more success to reduce recidivism that is cost effective. There are more groups of special needs offenders that reside in our prison and jails systems. They are categorized to include the following groups, mentally disordered offenders, elderly offenders, mentally handicapped, drug abuse or addict offender, and family violence offenders. All offenders who can be categorized into one of these criteria have special needs and require special care while incarcerated in our system. Often times requiring and demanding more from the facility they are incarcerated in which ties up more resources, money, and time. But we must take special care to provide those services to these individuals and provide a standard of care to them that is morally bound.

REFERENCES

* Hanser, R. (2007). Special Needs Offenders in the Community. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall * Kadmon-Telias, A. (2003). What Does Social Justice Mean and Require in the Rehabilitation of Ex- Convicts Addicts in the Era of Privatization. International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (7), 127-131. * http://definitions.uslegal.com/s/special-needs-offender * http://nicic.gov/library/018735, Correctional Health Care: Addressing the Needs of Elderly, Chronically Ill, and Terminally Ill Inmates. 2004 ed. Publication year: 2004…...

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