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Treatment of Mentally Ill Offenders: Challenges

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In the study of forensic psychology, emphasis typically is placed on the individuals being served and their specific traits relevant to treatment. Forensic psychology professionals in forensic treatment settings must be familiar with symptoms of the myriad mental illnesses described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). Additionally, treatment professionals must be well versed in the process of psychotherapy and other treatment approaches for the mentally ill. While many of the traditional counseling and therapy theories and approaches used with clinical clients also are appropriate for mentally ill offenders (e.g., empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness), forensic settings are not conventional treatment settings and may require special considerations.

Select two challenges related to the treatment of mentally ill offenders in a forensic setting. Think about the steps you would take to overcome these challenges. Finally, consider what treatment approach(es) best addresses these challenges.

Identify at least two challenges related to the treatment of mentally ill offenders in a forensic setting.
Explain the challenges you selected and the steps you would take to overcome them.
Briefly describe the treatment approach(es) you think best addresses the challenges you identified and why. Be specific.

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Solution Preview

Hi and thank you for using BrainMass. The solution below should get you started. In this particular task you are being asked to discuss issues in relation to treatment of mentally ill offenders in prison settings. I suggest making it simple using this outline:

1. On Mentally Ill Offenders - 100 words
2. Policy on treatment - 100 words
3. Challenges - 150 words
4. Addressing #3 - 150 words

This outline should yield around 500 words which should cover what you need. Just let me know via the feedback section if you need further clarification. You can use the listed resources to further explore the topic. All the best with your studies.

Treatment of Mentally Ill Offenders

Mentally ill offenders are a reality of prisons everywhere. Mental illness, according to the Mayo Clinic (2015), "refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors." A good number of the populace suffer from some form of mental health issue from time to time (i.e. depression due to loss of a loved one or a nasty break-up) but most everyone bounces back - with the issues they faced having been overcome, becoming part of their life experience. A mental issue becomes a mental illness when the symptoms last far longer that it should or when the symptoms lead often to stress and stops the individual from living a fully functional life. While mental illness is not usually linked to crime (APA, 2014), 7.5% of those who commit crime do so due to their mental illness (i.e. a schizophrenic hearing 'voices' commanding him to kill somebody).

According to the Treatment Advocacy Center/TAC (2014), "Approximately 20 percent of inmates in jails and 15 percent of inmates in state prisons have a serious mental illness. Based on the total number of inmates, ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of challanges in treating mentally ill offenders. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.