Identifying Mentally Ill Inmates
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with the ability to identify mentally ill inmates.
A mentally ill inmate is generally defined as a person who is a danger to them self or others or appears gravely disabled.
Regrettably, a significant number of inmates in today’s jails are suffering from mental illness. Facility administrators are obligated to create policy in order to identify and evaluate mentally disordered inmates.
A mentally ill inmate is generally defined as a person who is a danger to them self or others or appears gravely disabled. Segregation may be necessary to protect the mentally disordered inmate.
Potential signs of mental illness in inmates may include:
- Bizarre behavior
- Excessive Fear
- Loss of appetite
- A Noticeable change in established behavior
- Mentally disordered
- Expressing personal/familial problems
- Suicidal statements
Failure to recognize these signs of mental illness and classify the inmates appropriately may result in the following by the inmates:
- Inability to follow directions or comply with rules and regulations,
- Conflicts with staff,
- Deterioration in the inmates mental health or
- Serious illness or death by suicide.
By recognizing these signs of mental illness, appropriately classifying, housing and treating the mentally ill, we can accommodate them in the jail and help to avoid a further deterioration of their condition.
Remember, predictable is preventable.
And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.