Study: Mental Health Conditions Often Go Untreated in Prison


As many as half of inmates who are treated for mental health conditions upon admission to prison go without pharmacotherapy while in prison, according to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers analyzed data from a sample of more than 18,000 state and federal prisoners. More than one-in-four (26 percent) reported receiving a mental health diagnosis and 50 percent of those who were initially medicated for mental health conditions received no further pharmaceutical treatment, according to the study.

Depression was the most frequently cited mental illness reported.

The majority of those receiving medication for mental health conditions (61 percent) received no other treatment for their conditions, according to the study.

The paper notes that prisons are required by law to provide inmates with adequate healthcare in prison, but often only “severe or serious” mental illness treatment is covered.

The study is available for purchase HERE.

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