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Topics in Criminal Justice: Mental Health Needs

Mental Health Crisis

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), each year 2 million people with mental illness are arrested and booked into jails. As a result, 64 percent of jail inmates are afflicted with a mental illness. Once in jail, many do not receive the treatment they need. The National Conference of State Legislature states that only about "1 in 3 state prisoners and 1 in 6 jail inmates" received treatment while in custody. This is why Crisis intervention teams (CITs) -- partnerships between police departments and mental health providers -- are essential in identifying those who may need treatment and preventing them from committing violent and criminal acts.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is one of the main concerns once an individual with a mental illness is imprisoned without receiving treatment for their mental illness. According to a study held in 2006, suicide rates in detention facilities had decreased dramatically since a study done in 2006. The decrease is believed to have been caused by an increased awareness and training in suicide prevention programs.

Whether you wish to research how law enforcement rectifies mental health issues, statistics on prisoners with mental illness, or suicide prevention for prisoners, we have a variety of resources to assist and guide you.

Links to Articles and Blog Posts


Books and e-Books Available at Dewey

Need Additional Assistance?

Help is available! Contact Cathy Dwyer, Subject Librarian for Criminal Justice at (518) 442-3698 or - or drop by during Cathy's office hours, held weekly on Mondays from 5-8pm.

Blog Created By: Kristen Thornton-De Stafeno
Image Credit: Kristen Thornton-De Stafeno

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