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Indicators of Mental Health Problems and Treatment Reported by Prisoners: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016

NCJ Number
252643
Author(s)
Laura M. Maruschak; Jennifer Bronson; Mariel Alper
Date Published
June 2021
Length
12 pages
Annotation

This BJS report presents prevalence estimates of two mental health indicators based on data reported by state and federal prisoners in the 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates: 1. reported experiences that met the threshold for serious psychological distress (SPD) during the 30 days prior to their interview, and 2. reported history of mental health problems.

Abstract

This BJS report presents prevalence estimates of two mental health indicators based on data reported by state and federal prisoners: the prisoner reported experiences that met the threshold for serious psychological distress (SPD) during the 30 days prior to their interview and the prisoner having a history of a mental health problem. Findings are based on self-reported data from the 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates.

Highlights of this report include:

  • About 14% of state and 8% of federal prisoners met the threshold for past 30-day SPD.
  • Females in state (19%) or federal (17%) prison were more likely than males in state (14%) or federal (7%) prison to have met the threshold for past 30-day SPD.
  • About 43% of state and 23% of federal prisoners had a history of a mental health problem.
  • An estimated 27% of state and 14% of federal prisoners reported being told they had a major depressive disorder, the most common mental disorder reported.