Prisoners with Special Needs
May 15, 2018 Studying Tips
According to Atabay (2009), the conditions in the prisons across the world cause physical and mental harm to prisoners due to alienation from the society, physical abuse, overcrowded rooms, and neglect by prison officials. Prisoners with unique conditions such as mentally challenged, drug abusers, disabled and aged prisoners need special attention to protect them from alleviated suffering owing to their health conditions. The paper explains the needs of special prisoners, discusses the consequences of neglecting tem, and evaluates the program that cares for such inmates.
The prisoners with unique needs affect the jail system at the state and the federal levels by introducing an obligation for the prison authority to create extra resources such as separate cells for the inmates who have special needs (Stojkovic, 2005). The prisoners engage in self-inflicting activities such as hitting the prison walls, making high noises, getting hallucinated, and suffering from frequent mood changes. Special rooms are provided for such prisoners who are locked up there to avoid causing injury to others. The jail system has to invest in taking the prisoners to hospitals for mental health care and setting up tight security systems for movement control since the prisoners can cause harm within the prison surroundings. Moreover, the jail system has to employ staffs with special professional qualification to attend to the urgent needs of the prisoners and monitor the progress.
According to Stojkovic (2005), prisoners with special needs can cause harm to themselves if they are left untreated or their needs are not addressed promptly. Neglect of the prisoners with mental challenges, drug addiction, and depression can lead to death as they may commit suicide. Failure to take a proper care of the prisoners with special needs can result into the worsening of their conditions, hygiene-related diseases as diarrhea, cholera, and skin diseases. As Hatton and Fisher (2009) explain, the lack of a proper care can lead to sexual abuse of mentally challenged female inmates by prison wardens. The male inmates are also at the risk of sexual abuse; thus, a proper care should be provided to safeguard prisoners from such threat.
The special population selected is the prisoners of Texas state prison struggling with drug addiction; the program to assist the offenders is aimed at treating the drug addiction problem (Velasquez & Maurer, 2011).
According to Velasquez and Maurer (2011), the offender is subjected to treatment for a period of six months within the prison with the aim of positively transforming the prisoner. A three-month therapeutic care outside the prison follows where the prisoner is attended for psychological support within the premises set for residential purposes. The program also has a care period of nine months during which the affected person attends to outpatient services. After completing the outpatient treatment, the offender is then subjected to a one-year period of moral assistance from social networks. During this period, he/she is closely monitored by the group supervisors to establish the state of recovery.
The program has been very successful in treating individuals with the problem of drug addiction (Velasquez & Maurer, 2011). Individualized therapeutic sessions have enabled the offenders with special needs to achieve a sense of self-worth leading to behavior change. Social networks have also contributed to the individuals' increased sense of appreciation and acceptance thereby encouraging them to refrain from drug abuse.
- Atabay, T. (2009). Handbook on prisoners with special needs. New York, NY: United Nations.
- Hatton, D. & Fisher, A. (2009). Women prisoners and health justice: Perspectives, issues, and advocacy for an international hidden population. Oxford: Radcliffe Pub.
- Stojkovic, S. (2005). Managing special populations in jails and prisons. Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.
- Velasquez, M. & Maurer, G. (2011). Group treatment for substance abuse: A stages-of-change therapy manual. New York, NY: Guilford Press.