Social Injustice: Incarceration and Mental Health


Donna Sabella, MEd, MSN, PhD, PMHNP-BC | September 20 | 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Topic: Law Enforcement | Knowledge Level: Intermediate

The United States is recognized as having the largest incarcerated population of any other nation in the world. While many of those in the correctional system suffer from a variety of medical and physical disorders and illnesses, a large number of individuals suffer from mental health disorders. Some enter the system with pre-existing behavioral disorders while some develop various mental health problems during their incarceration. With Los Angeles County Jail commonly recognized as the largest mental health institution in the US and the job of interacting with mentally ill inmates falling to law enforcement, the courts, and correctional facilitates and their personnel, it is important that we recognize the good, the bad and the ugly of mental health treatment for those behind bars and the system limitations placed on practitioners who work with this population.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Describe the extent and nature of commonly found mental health issues in prison.

·  Outline what correctional mental health treatment can and cannot accomplish.

·  Discuss common problems, limitations and pitfalls for mental health practitioners working with this population.

·  Provide an overview of specific vulnerable populations, including incarcerated HT victims.

·  Convey the importance of supporting inmate mental health beyond the clinicians’ walls.

About the Presenter