High rates of mental health issues compared to the general public are found among employees in Michigan prisons.
According to the study of Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) published by Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, prison workers are more likely to show symptoms of depression and anxiety or suicidal ideation. The report also said that these workers have higher rates of generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, PTSD and alcohol abuse than military members or first responders.
Other studies reached similar findings regarding prisons nationwide. One 2018 study found that nearly one in five prison workers have PTSD.
The MDOC study attributes this crisis to the impact that the quality of a working environment has on mental health, stating that “The effects of Work Health are notably larger than the effects of exposure to traumatic events or working in a custody role.”
In an effort to combat the issue, hundreds of employees are being hired by MDOC to reduce overtime, and an employee wellness unit was recently established to provide prison workers the mental health support they need.
Read the full study here.
This summary was prepared by TCR news intern Yotam Ponte