How to help your inmate and their family in a crisis
More than a million people in America are incarcerated, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
And the state that holds them most often is the one that’s hardest hit by the epidemic.
Nearly three-quarters of all inmates in federal prisons are in solitary confinement.
The majority of them are there because of a nonviolent crime, a felony drug charge or an administrative violation.
They also are among the most vulnerable in the country: Nearly 40 percent are black, according the Sentencing Project, while nearly 40 percent of white inmates are in prisons with a disproportionate number of minorities.
But the crisis in prisons is far from over.
Inmates are still being held for nonviolent crimes and are often held in facilities that lack proper ventilation, a lack of medical facilities, inadequate food and sanitation and inadequate mental health care.
And some of them face additional risk by becoming re-entrants in a federal facility once they are released.
So why haven’t we seen a dramatic reduction in the number of prisoners held in solitary?
It’s a complex and difficult problem.
Many people would argue that we have moved past solitary confinement, and that it’s time for a return to our old ways, said Andrew McAfee, an attorney at the Sentenced Reform Project.
Prisoners have become prisoners and become prisoners of war, he said.
So we have to start making some changes, starting with the mental health and health care system.
The problem is that we don’t know the number or severity of the problems, said McAfee.
We know that prisoners are not getting the care they need, he added.
One of the most recent studies done by the Sentences Project found that the number and severity of mental health problems among prisoners had increased significantly in recent years.
And it was a lot worse than we thought, the study found.
Inmates who have experienced trauma are particularly vulnerable.
They tend to be more vulnerable because of the trauma they have experienced, and because of their inability to communicate about their trauma, said Sarah Schaffner, an inmate advocate and associate professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
People who are in isolation and have severe mental health issues, which includes substance abuse, are at an increased risk of suicide and other types of mental illness.
The prison system has failed to implement policies and resources to reduce the impact of mental illnesses, said Schaffnner.
And inmates who have suffered trauma often suffer in isolation because they are afraid to leave, she said.
They have not been able to talk about their problems to others and they are unable to communicate their feelings to their families and to the prison system, she added.
Inmates are at great risk of being re-incarcerated if they do not receive appropriate care.
They often have poor mental health, including anxiety, depression and substance abuse.
They have not had access to adequate medication for depression and anxiety and have been exposed to some forms of isolation, she explained.
And when they do receive adequate mental health services, they are not receiving them in a timely manner, McAfee said.
In the past, many inmates in solitary have been released from prison and were able to find work.
But there is a risk of re-inclusion if that job is not well-paying.
“Inmates often cannot find employment in a job that pays their rent or utilities or food,” he said, adding that in some cases the prison has turned down the jobs of people who were released.
If you’re not paid enough to eat or have a decent income, you are more likely to get re-enrolled in the system, McBride said.
That can be especially true in areas that are segregated by race.
When you are incarcerated in a prison, you don’t have access to food, housing or health care services.
And you have to go to your home state to find those services, she noted.
And if you don the job, you’re more likely than not to be sent back to prison.
Even when inmates do receive mental health treatment, it often is inadequate, according and the study.
In many cases, it’s a one-way ticket to jail, Schaffna said.
And the health and well-being of inmates in isolation is also a significant factor in the re-entry of people into society.
It is very difficult for a prisoner to reintegrate into society, Schauffner said.
And once people re-enter society, they can be more dangerous.
That’s why the federal government should provide a more robust and sustained response to address the issue of prisoner re-arrest, said Michael Hernick, an associate professor of law at Northwestern University.
In some instances, it might be better to re-educate people who have been re-involved in the criminal justice system and who are on the outside looking in, he explained.
It is a real