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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Study Finds More than 50% of All Inmates Have Mental Problems

From DeathPenaltyInfo.org: According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics Study released September 6, more than half of all prison and jail inmates, including 56% of state prisoners, 45% of federal prisoners, and 64% of local jail inmates have mental health problems. 

The study was based on reporting of symptoms by inmates rather than through medical diagnosis.  Among state prisoners with mental problems, 43% had symptoms of mania, 23% had major depression, and 15% had psychotic disorders.  Having mental health problems was closely correlated with violence and past criminal activity.

Other significant findings regarding those prisoners with mental problems included:

  • 74% of those in state prison were dependent on or abusing drugs or alcohol in the year before their admission
  • 13% of those in state prison were homeless in the year before their incarceration
  • 27% of those in state prison reported past physical or sexual abuse.

Get Study. . . [Mark Godsey]

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