UOP Mental Illness in The Workplace Paper

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University of the Pacific

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1. Your reading has introduced you to many challenges the mentally ill bring to the criminal justice system. Focusing on the correctional system, what issues does the criminal justice system encounter?
Your response should be at least 200 words in length.

2. Explain why the media and much of the general public believe that crime and the mental illness are related to each other. Is this factual? Why, or why not? Provide examples.
Your response should be at least 200 words in length

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UNIT I STUDY GUIDE Myths and Realities Course Learning Outcomes for Unit I Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to: 1. Explain the correlation between crime and mental illness. 2. Identify current issues, trends, and challenges mental illness presents to the criminal justice system. Reading Assignment Chapter 1: Myths and Realities: Introduction and Scope of the Problem Chapter 2: Abnormal Psychology Primer Unit Lesson More and more stories of mentally ill criminal offenders are leading the news. This is not new, as all the way back to John Hinckley Jr., the news has shined a light on mentally ill individuals who have committed heinous crimes. From Andrea Yates in 2001 and the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, to the Aurora, Colorado theatre shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012, the news perpetuates the myth that crime and mental illness go hand in hand (Schug & Fradella, 2015). But, is this accurate? The criminal justice system has become part of the mental health system. With lack of funding and the closing of mental health hospitals, many mentally ill have found themselves in jails and prisons. The largest psychiatric facility in the United States is Riker’s Island in New York City, holding about 3,000 people (Schug & Fradella, 2015). However, this brings victimization while in the correctional system, and ultimately, many recidivate upon release. This leaves us with the following question. “Does mental illness cause violence?” Schug & Fradella (2015) answer with the following four points: • • • • Less than 3% of violent crimes can be attributed to a person with a psychiatric illness. The prevalence of serious mental illnesses (SMIs) in incarcerated populations is between 16%-30%. A large segment of the population has no mental illness. Those with SMIs may commit crimes for the same reasons those without mental illnesses do. Causes such as peers, family violence, personal stressors, and substance abuse can affect individuals with and without an SMI. The effect of mental illness on violent tendencies is small, with the violence more likely to manifest against family than a complete stranger. Though there are some links between mental illness and crime, many who study these areas lack education and training in criminal justice and the law (Schug & Fradella, 2015). There are, however, many disciplines within the criminal justice field that relate to mental health, which include: • • • Forensic Psychology Forensic Psychiatry Forensic Neuroscience CMJ 3308, Mental Illness and Crime 1 The major diagnostic system used to study mental illness is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental UNIT x STUDY GUIDE Disorder (DSM), which the American Psychiatric Association began publishingTitle in 1952. The latest edition is the DSM-5, published in 2013. Older DSM editions classified mental illness on five axes or dimensions, with Axis I and Axis II containing the principal diagnoses: • • • • • Axis I: clinical disorders and conditions, other than personality disorders and intellectual disabilities Axis II: personality and intellectual disabilities Axis III: diagnosis for general medical conditions, such as digestive, blood, nervous, respiratory, and digestive disorders or injuries Axis IV: psychosocial and environmental problems, such as unemployment, homelessness, or financial problems Axis V: global assessment of functioning (GAF) which ranges from 1 to 100 The DSM-5 has abandoned this structure and replaced it with chapters containing disorders and the traits commonly associated with them (Schug & Fradella, 2015). Though there are criticisms and limitations of the DSM, those working with individuals in the criminal justice system must be aware of this manual and how it can affect not only crime overall, but also the people they work with within the system. To become a better-informed practitioner, one must start with the concept of mental illness. Many people struggle to define it. Think about what your definition of mental illness is. Exploring the five major historical definitions, as outlined by Schug and Fradella (2015) will help: • • • • • mental illness as a deviation from social expectations mental illness is what mental health professionals treat mental illness is a subjective distress mental illness is a label for disliked actions mental illness is a dysfunction that causes harm Then, there is the DSM-5 definition: “A clinically significant behavioral or psychological pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress (e.g., a painful symptom) or disability (i.e., impairment in one or more areas of functioning) or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom” (American Psychological Association, 2000, p. 29). This definition contains the word impairment that is critical to understanding mental illness. The impairment of a mental illness must affect a person’s life in the areas of school, work, social, or family life. By classifying disorders, the DSM is not classifying people. Disorders people have are actually what is being classified. Within the DSM, readers will not see a bulimic, but an individual with bulimia (APA, 2000). For centuries, people have tried to explain our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, including those that fall outside the “normal range” of human experience. Scientists have attempted to quantify and categorize people and their suffering. History shows that while there are successes in this area, there have also been failures. Throughout history, people have blamed supernatural forces, religion, anatomy, environments, and peers as the causes of mental illness. Though each of these relates to the puzzle of mental illness, science still fails to solve the puzzle completely. Each person with a mental illness is different from another. Though there are similar symptoms in cases, no two people with a disorder will show these symptoms the same way. No two people will have the same cause for their symptoms. This only adds to the difficulty of defining a mental illness. Throughout the first two chapters, various legal concepts and a history review have allowed you to build a foundation on which to base your understanding of mental illness. The definition you have come to may vary from your peers and even from the textbook. Though this term is difficult to define, both of these chapters have armed you with the theoretical foundation to look at mental illnesses presented throughout the rest of the textbook and examine if the mental illness has contributed to an individual’s criminal acts (Schug & Fradella, 2015). References American Psychological Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). American Psychological Association. CMJ 3308, Mental Illness and Crime 2 Schug, R., & Fradella, H. (2015). Mental illness and crime. Sage. UNIT x STUDY GUIDE Title Suggested Reading The article below will give you a better grasp on why mental health and criminal justice are often related to each other in the media. In order to access the resource below, you must first log into the myCSU Student Portal and access the Academic Search Complete database within the CSU Online Library. Edwards, H. S. (2014). Dangerous cases. Time, 184(21/22), 54-59. CMJ 3308, Mental Illness and Crime 3
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Mental Illness in the Workplace

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Mental Illness in the Workplace
Many individuals with substance abuse and mental health conditions have enormous
health, fiscal, and human costs in the criminal health. It is essential to divert people with
substance use and mental health away from prisons and jails to more culturally and appropriate
community-based centers, which is a strategy to provide them with the necessary support to
eliminate unnecessary involvement in the criminal justice systems. Criminal justice leaders face
numerous challenges and need to act ethically, communicate locally, and think strategically
while designing comprehensive solutions to address challenges in criminal justice systems.
Various challenges faced in the criminal justice system include gangs, street violence, guns,
terrorist activities, human trafficking, and cybercrime. Therefore, most of these challenges reach
correctional facilities, particularly causing intertwined issues related to inmate violence and staff
safety. Increased inmate violence is associated with gang affiliations among dangerous segments.
Staffs are at risk when they intervene or respond to inmate violence, taking advantage of a
weakened system, which even escalates staff threat.
Increased mental health issues among prisoners are a continuous worrying concern. Court
mandate to provide mental health treatment to inmates is limited with access to adequate
healthcare and available resources, decision-making, and public support. If untreated, inmates
with mental illness are at higher risk of recidivism on release from prison (Gonzalez & Connell,
2014). Limited treatment for inmates reflects more rule violence, disciplinary proble...


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