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Prisoners and mental health 

Prisoners and mental health
Chapter:
Prisoners and mental health
Author(s):

Kenneth L. Appelbaum

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198792994.003.0025
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date: 25 November 2020

This chapter examines how incarceration affects public mental health and safety. It describes the benefits of mental health treatment during and after incarceration for individual patients and for society. It also reviews how the conditions of confinement can make inmates either better or worse, including the detrimental effects that harsh prison environments can have on future criminal behaviour. The chapter examines the history and misconceptions about rehabilitative programmes and the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions in reducing recidivism. It describes how mass incarceration has had great fiscal and social costs but few beneficial effects on crime rates. Finally, it reviews the advantages of alternatives to incarceration for individual offenders, family members, and the broader community.

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