- Atlanta University and Clark Atlanta University Theses and Dissertations
- An analysis of correctional mental health screenings and treatment services utilized by inmates diagnosed with co-occurring disorders in a metropolitan county jail in Georgia
- Gordon, Shirlene M.
- Date of Original:
- Degrees, Academic
- United States, Georgia, Fulton County, Atlanta, 33.749, -84.38798
- Critical evaluation on the performance of mental health screenings in U. S. correctional facilities is not a new phenomenon. Deinstitutionalization in the 1960s to the 1980s highlighted inhumane inpatient psychiatric care in state hospitals, which led to the emergence of community-based mental health support services. An increasing number of discharged mental patients do not receive treatment in community mental health centers; rather, discharged mental patients are booked into county jails and prisons. Studies over the recent decade report that 60–87% of inmates diagnosed with co-occurring disorders are booked into county jails. Following the 1977 federal case of Bowring vs. Godwin, jails are constitutionally required to provide adequate mental health services. The aim of jail-based mental health screenings is to identify inmates with mental health disorders and substance abuse conditions early in their incarceration. This study determined if a relationship existed between the results of correctional mental health screenings and mental health services used by inmates diagnosed with co-occurring disorders in a metropolitan county jail. A homogeneous, purposive sampling process of the 1,824 male and female inmates diagnosed with a mental health or substance abuse disorder yielded 190 inmates as the study population. The results indicated that African American males (68.3%) and African American females (31.7%) between the ages of 18–49 years old used mental health services offered in the jail more than White males (66.7%) and White females (33.3%). The study findings indicated that correctional mental health screening results derived from subjective responses by inmates combined with the administration of correctional mental health screenings by nonmental health professionals fostered a disproportionate number of inmates diagnosed with co-occurring disorders in the jail facility. Future recommendations support the implementation of policies and standards that promote evidence-based protocols for identification and screening practices to govern the utility of correctional mental health screenings in jails.
Date of award: 2020-07
Degree type: dissertation
Degree name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Granting institution: Clark Atlanta University
Department: School of Social Work
Advisor: Onifade, Eyitayo
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- Holding Institution:
- Clark Atlanta University