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Medical News & Perspectives
June 6, 2001

Innovative Program for Mentally Ill Inmates

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JAMA. 2001;285(21):2703-2704. doi:10.1001/jama.285.21.2703-JMN0606-2-1

Las Vegas, Nev—Corrections officers in US jails and prisons typically use punishment as a means of controlling the behavior of mentally ill inmates with aggressive and disciplinary problems. This approach tends to be ineffective, creating ever-increasing tensions among inmates, officers, and health care workers in a corrections facility.

An approach by the Connecticut Department of Correction appears to counter that escalation, giving inmates who have been diagnosed with various mental illnesses and who exhibit aggressive behavior with disciplinary problems the coping skills and medications needed to live in more general corrections populations.

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