Prevalence of Mental Illnesses in U.S. State Prisons: A Systematic Review

Absract Objective: People with mental illnesses are understood to be overrepresented in the U.S. criminal justice system, and accurate prevalence estimates in corrections settings are crucial for planning and implementing preventive and diversionary policies and programs. Despite consistent scholarly attention to mental illness in corrections facilities, only two federal self-report surveys are typically cited, and they may not represent the extent of relevant data. This systematic review was conducted to develop a broader picture of mental illness prevalence in U.

Does Transinstitutionalization Explain the Overrepresentation of People with Serious Mental Illnesses in the Criminal Justice System?

Abstract Although there is broad consensus that people with serious mental illnesses (SMI) are overrepresented in correctional settings, there is less agreement about the policy trends that may have created this situation. Some researchers and policymakers posit a direct link between deinstitutionalization and increased rates of SMI in jails and prisons, a phenomenon described as transinstitutionalization. Others offer evidence that challenges this hypothesis and suggest that it may be a reductionist explanation.