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Our research also indicates the persistence in many prisons of deep-rooted patterns of neglect, mistreatment, and even cavalier disregard for the well-being of vulnerable and sick human beings.
Drawing on interviews with correctional officials, mental health experts, prisoners and lawyers, this report seeks to illuminate that fate. constitutional framework against which their treatment should be assessed.
Mental health, just as much as physical health, is a mainstay of life.
Indeed, it is beyond any serious dispute that mental health is a need as essential to a meaningful human existence as other basic physical demands our bodies may make for shelter, warmth, or sanitation. Prisons are tense and overcrowded facilities in which all prisoners struggle to maintain their self-respect and emotional equilibrium despite violence, exploitation, extortion, and lack of privacy; stark limitations on family and community contacts; and a paucity of opportunities for meaningful education, work, or other productive activities.
These prisoners are less likely to be able to follow correctional rules.
Their misconduct is punished - regardless of whether it results from their mental illness.
We identify the mentally ill in prison - their numbers, the nature of their illnesses, and the reasons for their incarceration. We review their access to mental health services and the treatment they receive.