Date of Conferral







Sandra Caramela-Miller


Mental health disparities in African American males contribute disproportionate rates of incarceration treatment access. There is a significant need to revise current mental health practices to address treatment barriers. The purpose of this study was to understand whether medication management could reduce criminality in violent African American males diagnosed with schizophrenia. A phenomenological examination of psychiatric perceptions and psychological treatment coupled with race was performed, utilizing the critical race and rational choice theory. Two research questions were developed to understand effective medication management and what barriers are present that cause noncompliance resulting in criminal activity. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used examining 8-10 mental health and criminal justice professionals' perceptions of medication and its effects on violent schizophrenic African American males. Anonymous questionnaires with pre-addressed stamped envelopes was sent to a national counseling center and a law enforcement agency. Data were analyzed through the application of qualitative research data, coding, and development of themes. Fifty questionnaires were mailed out, and 11 responses were returned. Three themes of medication management, medication knowledge, and managing care were explored. Data analysis and results coincided with previous research. Positive social change will be affected through professionals enforcing early intervention and education of the effectiveness of medication and how it can reduce incarceration.

Included in

Psychology Commons