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Indicators of Mental Health Problems Reported by Prisoners and Jail Inmates, 2011-2012

NCJ Number
250612
Author(s)
Jennifer Bronson; Marcus Berzofsky
Date Published
June 2017
Length
16 pages
Annotation
This report presents two prevalence estimates of mental health problems among State and Federal prisoners and local jail inmates who met the threshold for serious psychological distress (SPD) and were told by a mental health professional to have a mental disorder.
Abstract
The estimates are from self-reported data and should not be interpreted as representing a clinical diagnosis of a mental disorder. The study found that more jail inmates (26 percent) than prisoners (14 percent) met the threshold for SPD in the past 30 days. Among those who had been told they had a mental disorder, the largest percentage of prisoners (24 percent) and jail inmates (31 percent) reported they had a major depressive disorder. More prisoners (14 percent) and jail inmates (26 percent) met the threshold for SPD in the past 30 days than the standardized general population (5 percent). Prescription medication was the most common treatment type for prisoners and jail inmates who met the threshold for SPD in the past 30 days. Fourteen percent of prisoners and 10 percent of jail inmates who met the threshold for SPD in the past 30 days were written up or charged with assault. A larger percentage of females in prison (20 percent) or jail (32 percent) than males in prison (14 percent) or jail (26 percent) met the threshold for SPD in the past 30 days. More White prisoners and jail inmates met the threshold for SPD in the past 30 days than Black or Hispanic prisoners and jail inmates. Prisoners incarcerated for a violent crime (17 percent) were as likely as those incarcerated for a property crime (16 percent) to have met the threshold for SPD in the past 30 days. 19 tables and 3 figures