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Constitutional Implications of Suicidal Inmates

- Address the Constitutional implications of suicidal inmates based on decisions made in cases such as the Supreme Court Case of Estelle v. Gamble (1976), and Newman v. Alabama (1974). How have these decisions made an impact. Explain.

- How do you distinguish the potential suicide victim who is crying out for help from the manipulative inmate? The manipulative inmate will often threaten or feign suicide in an attempt to get his way, or in court, to bolster his insanity defense or gain sympathy.

- What is the protocol for addressing these types of situations?

- How does the problem of prison overcrowding impact the issue of inmate suicide from both administration and victim perspectives?

- Add to your policy to establish requirements and protocol for addressing suicidal inmates in an overcrowded correctional facility environment.

Solution Preview

- Address the Constitutional implications of suicidal inmates based on decisions made in cases such as the Supreme Court Case of Estelle v. Gamble (1976), and Newman v. Alabama (1974).

The implications that Estelle v. Gamble have on suicidal inmates could be interpreted by viewing the verbatim of the decision wherein much of the decision was predicated upon misdiagnoses by over 15 doctors in regards to the condition of the inmate. These misdiagnoses resulted in the inmate enduring excruciating pain for a longer period than would have been necessary had the physicians gotten the diagnosis correct. Although the case was not about a suicidal inmate, the underlying issues of malfeasance of medical treatment to inmates correlates with many issues dealing with suicidal inmates. In many prisons, staff lack resources, personnel, and medical equipment to properly address inmates' medical conditions. A large number of inmates have mental health issues that are unable to be addressed or revealed because prisons have not appropriated mental health professionals within the jails or prisons to address these inmates. Mentally ill inmates have a higher propensity of committing suicide and, even when there exists limited psychiatrists or clinicians, prison overcrowding negates them from being able to properly address inmates.

In Newman v. Alabama inmates in the state of Alabama won a class action lawsuit predicated upon the fact that the prison system in the state only provided nominal assistance to mentally ill inmates with no psychiatrists, social workers, or counsellors employed within the system. Therefore, this was a contribution to the amount of suicides within the system as research has consistently shown that mentally ill prisoners and those needing professional mental help during times of ...

Solution Summary

The constitutional implications of suicidal inmates is examined. The protocol for addressing these types of situations are determined.

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