Date of Conferral

2018

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Stephen Hampe

Abstract

There has been an increase in the number of individuals with mental illness being housed in correctional facilities over the last 50 years. In this study, the length of pretrial detention was compared for inmates who have a mental illness and are compliant with psychiatric medications, inmates who have a mental illness and are noncompliant or not prescribed psychiatric medication, and inmates with no mental illness. I also examined if inmates who have a mental illness have less severe charges and if there was a difference in the classification of mental health diagnoses for inmates who are and are not compliant with psychiatric medications. The study used the closed charts of 427 male inmates from 1 county jail in New Jersey from the year 2016. The theoretical foundation of this study is Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, as it is believed that the basic physiological and safety needs should be met in order to provide mental health treatment. A combination 1-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) and chi-squared analysis was used to examine the data. It was concluded that inmates with mental illness who are medication compliant are incarcerated significantly longer pretrial than inmates with no mental illness. It was also found that there was a difference in the types of charges received between those with and without a mental illness. Lastly, the study found that there was no significant difference between each of the classifications of mental illness when comparing inmates with mental illness who are and are not compliant with psychiatric medications. The implication for positive social change is the benefits to the inmates with mental illness and the correctional facilities, as it confirms that inmates with a mental illness require more tailored and treatment specific services for a longer period of time.

 
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