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Special Issue "Correctional Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Deborah Shelton

Center for Correctional Health Networks, University of Connecticut, 231 Glenbrook Road, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: juvenile delinquency; prisoners; mental disorders; aggression

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will encompass contemporary issues surrounding the continued incarceration of adult men and women with serious mental disorders. It is generally agreed that people around the world suffer from mental and/or behavioral disorders; among these, the highest prevalence of these individuals reside in prisons and jails. Reasons for the trans-institutionalization of the mentally ill from treatment oriented facilities and programs to prisons and jails is primarily one of economics and resources, followed by the challenging and chronic nature of these disorders. Social stigma and discrimination have also contributed significantly, eroding recognition of the human rights of the mentally ill.

As relationships between selected mental disorders and criminal behaviors are demonstrated, the interface between the mental health and criminal justice systems has been forged within systems of many countries. Additionally, while the societal impact upon nations and their specific cultures does vary, the costs are equally significant across nations: billions of dollars annually for the world economy. Notably, mental illness impacts all aspects of individual health. Co-occurring disorders, such as addiction, infectious diseases and malnutrition, and other problems, leading to high mortality rates, provide sad examples of the magnitude of the effects upon individuals, families, and society.

This Special Issue proposes to examine a wide range of clinical issues that influence the management, treatment, and outcomes for mentally ill persons with incarceration experience. Articles are solicited targeting persons with an incarceration experience, inclusive of those who are currently in a prison or jail, and/or those individuals who are or have transitioned to the community and are served by a myriad of services, or lack thereof.

Prof. Dr. Deborah Shelton
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Mental Illness and Juvenile Offenders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(2), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13020228
Received: 3 December 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 8 February 2016 / Published: 18 February 2016
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Within the past decade, reliance on the juvenile justice system to meet the needs of juvenile offenders with mental health concerns has increased. Due to this tendency, research has been conducted on the effectiveness of various intervention and treatment programs/approaches with varied success. [...] Read more.
Within the past decade, reliance on the juvenile justice system to meet the needs of juvenile offenders with mental health concerns has increased. Due to this tendency, research has been conducted on the effectiveness of various intervention and treatment programs/approaches with varied success. Recent literature suggests that because of interrelated problems involved for youth in the juvenile justice system with mental health issues, a dynamic system of care that extends beyond mere treatment within the juvenile justice system is the most promising. The authors provide a brief overview of the extent to which delinquency and mental illness co-occur; why treatment for these individuals requires a system of care; intervention models; and the juvenile justice systems role in providing mental health services to delinquent youth. Current and future advancements and implications for practitioners are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Correctional Health)
Open AccessArticle
From Punishment to Treatment: The “Clinical Alternative to Punitive Segregation” (CAPS) Program in New York City Jails
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(2), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13020182
Received: 10 August 2015 / Revised: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The proliferation of jails and prisons as places of institutionalization for persons with serious mental illness (SMI) has resulted in many of these patients receiving jail-based punishments, including solitary confinement. Starting in 2013, the New York City (NYC) jail system developed a new [...] Read more.
The proliferation of jails and prisons as places of institutionalization for persons with serious mental illness (SMI) has resulted in many of these patients receiving jail-based punishments, including solitary confinement. Starting in 2013, the New York City (NYC) jail system developed a new treatment unit for persons with SMI who were judged to have violated jail rules (and previously would have been punished with solitary confinement) called the Clinical Alternative to Punitive Segregation (CAPS) unit. CAPS is designed to offer a full range of therapeutic activities and interventions for these patients, including individual and group therapy, art therapy, medication counseling and community meetings. Each CAPS unit requires approximately $1.5 million more investment per year, largely in additional staff as compared to existing mental health units, and can house approximately 30 patients. Patients with less serious mental illness who received infractions were housed on units that combined solitary confinement with some clinical programming, called Restrictive Housing Units (RHU). Between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2015, a total of 195 and 1433 patients passed through the CAPS and RHU units, respectively. A small cohort of patients experienced both CAPS and RHU (n = 90). For these patients, their rates of self-harm and injury were significantly lower while on the CAPS unit than when on the RHU units. Improvements in clinical outcomes are possible for incarcerated patients with mental illness with investment in new alternatives to solitary confinement. We have started to adapt the CAPS approach to existing mental health units as a means to promote better clinical outcomes and also help prevent jail-based infractions. The cost of these programs and the dramatic differences in length of stay for patients who earn these jail-based infractions highlight the need for alternatives to incarceration, some of which have recently been announced in NYC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Correctional Health)
Open AccessArticle
Changes in Depression and Stress after Release from a Tobacco-Free Prison in the United States
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010114
Received: 4 November 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prior research has found high levels of depression and stress among persons who are incarcerated in the United States (U.S.). However, little is known about changes in depression and stress levels among inmates post-incarceration. The aim of this study was to examine changes [...] Read more.
Prior research has found high levels of depression and stress among persons who are incarcerated in the United States (U.S.). However, little is known about changes in depression and stress levels among inmates post-incarceration. The aim of this study was to examine changes in levels of depression and stress during and after incarceration in a tobacco-free facility. Questionnaires that included valid and reliable measures of depression and stress were completed by 208 male and female inmates approximately eight weeks before and three weeks after release from a northeastern U.S. prison. Although most inmates improved after prison, 30.8% had a worsening in levels of depression between baseline and the three-week follow-up. In addition, 29.8% had a worsening in levels of stress after release than during incarceration. While it is not surprising that the majority of inmates reported lower levels of depression and stress post-incarceration, a sizable minority had an increase in symptoms, suggesting that environmental stressors may be worse in the community than in prison for some inmates. Further research is needed to address depression and stress levels during and after incarceration in order for inmates to have a healthier transition back into the community and to prevent repeat incarcerations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Correctional Health)
Open AccessArticle
Death Rates among Detained Immigrants in the United States
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(11), 14414-14419; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121114414
Received: 17 September 2015 / Revised: 27 October 2015 / Accepted: 9 November 2015 / Published: 12 November 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (615 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The United States system of immigrant detention centers has been the subject of considerable scrutiny with respect to health care of detainees. We sought to characterize the rates and types of deaths that have occurred within this system between the years 2003–2015. We [...] Read more.
The United States system of immigrant detention centers has been the subject of considerable scrutiny with respect to health care of detainees. We sought to characterize the rates and types of deaths that have occurred within this system between the years 2003–2015. We analyzed a file of detainee deaths released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as part of a freedom of information request. Between 2003 and 2015, 150 deaths were recorded. During this time period, the annual rate of death among detainees dropped dramatically, whether measured by annual admissions or by person years of exposure. The most common causes of death were cardiovascular, cancer and suicide. More research is needed to adequately account for the contributors to these declining rates of death in immigration detention settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Correctional Health)
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of a Mindfulness Based Program on Perceived Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Sleep of Incarcerated Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11594-11607; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911594
Received: 21 July 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 8 September 2015 / Published: 16 September 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (677 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Incarcerated women enter the prison setting with remarkable histories of trauma, mental health and substance abuse issues. Given the stress of incarceration and separation from their children, families, and significant others, it is not surprising that many women experience increased anxiety, depression, and [...] Read more.
Incarcerated women enter the prison setting with remarkable histories of trauma, mental health and substance abuse issues. Given the stress of incarceration and separation from their children, families, and significant others, it is not surprising that many women experience increased anxiety, depression, and problems with sleep. Due to these negative outcomes, it is imperative to find efficient non-pharmacological interventions. This pilot study examined the impact of a 12-week mindfulness based program on the stress, anxiety, depression and sleep of women with a total of 33 completing the study. In one group, women’s perceived stress, anxiety and depression were all significantly lower following the intervention compared to prior to the intervention. Challenges with implementing the pilot study are addressed. Despite challenges and limitations, the low-cost non-pharmacological intervention has potential for a reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Correctional Health)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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