Describe any ethical challenges that have arisen as you have researched your social issue that may be related to the stakeholders involved.
TOPIC: PRISONS AS MENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTIONS
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PART1: begin by reminding the class of your final project in a brief sentence or two. Next, identify the stakeholders (and potential stakeholders) of your chosen issue. Then identify any ethical considerations you believe may be of importance for your project, particularly as related to the sources you have identified for your analysis.
Describe any ethical challenges that have arisen as you have researched your social issue that may be related to the stakeholders involved. Be sure to include your references, in either APA format or with direct links to the sources.
PART2: In response to your classmates, comment with attention to what ethical considerations might be relevant for the research they are conducting.
PEER RESPONSE: I chose prisons as mental health institutions. The issue being addressed is how prisons are taking over the roles of mental health institutions. This issue is important because prisons are becoming drop off zones for those with mental health issues, rather than them being taken to proper institutions.
The stakeholders would be the corrections systems and the government (state facilities). Ethical considerations would be the proper medical treatment of the mentally ill within the corrections systems, proper education of the public and the healthcare providers of mental illness, and the humane treatment of the mentally ill when incarcerated. Human Rights Activists have started to protest for the humane treatment and rehabilitation of those incarcerated and to act for mentally ill to be free of abuse and given proper healthcare when incarcerated. The issue has created an up rise with the Americans with Disabilities Act in order for prisons to start providing proper treatment while the mentally ill are incarcerated, along with the ability for rehabilitation, in order to help them recover and adapt back into society. This would also allow for safety while incarcerated and limit the time they spent in solitary confinement (for prevention of suicide, self-harm, etc.). With more knowledge about prison systems and the mentally ill available to society, the media showing how the number of mentally ill is on the rise in prisons and why utilizing a prison as a mental health facility is negative option can become more beneficial to reduce stigmas and numbers. Reporting to media on how largely the population is growing and how beneficial state hospitals really are is going to help fundamentally in the long run. According to the article, Report: Loss of Psychiatric Beds in NH, Nation is ‘Beyond Disastrous’, “New Hampshire houses some mentally ill patients at the Secure Psychiatric Unit at state prison even though they haven’t committed a crime….In a bizarre display of how thoroughly mental illness is returning to its status as a criminal condition, New Hampshire authorizes civil patients who have committed no crime to be treated inside the state’s Secure Psychiatric Unit—a prison.” (West, 2016) As far as society and media go, “Labeling someone with a mental illness has an impact on public attitudes towards [those] people, with negative effects clearly outweighing positive effects. Endorsing the stereotype of dangerousness has a strong negative effect on the way people react emotionally to someone with [mental illness] and increases the preference for social distance.” (Angermeyer & Matschinger, 2003)
It is imperative that the social stigmas of what mental illness is go away. We need to re-educate society and the media as a whole on the ins and outs of true mental illness, and help them see that mental illness is NOT a danger or directly correlated to criminals. We also need to provide proper care of those who are detained and incarcerated upon their arrival into the system by properly screening and diagnosing them with a follow-up of treatment and chance for rehabilitation. Those who are not criminals, or do not belong in the corrections system should go to the mental health facilities, which should be given more funding and reopened; run like any other healthcare facility or hospital with a specialization for mental health, humanely.
Angermeyer, M. C., & Matschinger, H. (2003). The stigma of mental illness: effects of labelling on public attitudes towards people with mental disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 108(4), 304-309. doi:10.1034/j.1600-0447.2003.00150.x
West, N. (2016, June 03). Report: Loss of Psychiatric Beds in NH, Nation Is ‘Beyond Disastrous’. Retrieved October 04, 2017, from http://indepthnh.org/2016/06/02/report-loss-of-psychiatric-beds-in-nh-nation-is-beyond-disastrous/
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