The Mentally Ill Within the Criminal Justice System. An analysis examining techniques developed wihtin Criminal Justice to adapt to the growing mentally ill populations

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Wester, Sarah
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
The criminal justice system has had to adapt to the growing mentally ill population stemming from deinstitutionalization. Specifically, jails in Tennessee are experiencing significant challenges due to the increased presence of inmates with mental illness. A survey was sent to all jails across the states of Tennessee to assess the type and prevalence these challenges and the impact on the jails. Across the State, no matter the size of the agency, the same issues were noted again and again. Not only are these problems the same no matter the size of the detention facility but administrators are facing the same road blocks to fix them. These include lack of funding, proper training, adequate space, and enough personnel. It is the purpose of this study to shine a bright light on this dark problem, and identify the concerns of jails in best serving Tennessee mentally ill serving time in the jail system.
criminal justice, mentally ill, jails in Tennessee