Biopsychosocial Vulnerability-Stress Modeling for an Incarcerated Population pp. 83-122
Authors: (Deborah Shelton, Research and Evaluation Correctional Managed Health Care, University of Connecticut, Connecticut)
Abstract: Correctional facilities have become the principal agencies for mental health care, with half of all inmates estimated to have a history of mental illness or to have some symptoms of mental illness (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006). In a recent Bureau of Statistics report, recent mental health problems are reported to be 24% in state prisons and 21% in local jails (BJS, 2006). Incarcerated individuals are particularly vulnerable to the daily life stressors of such institutions. State prisoners who had a mental health problem were twice as likely as State prisoners without to have been injured in a fight since admission (20% compared to 10%) and, jail inmates who had a mental health problem (24%) were three times as likely as jail inmates without (8%) to report being physically or sexually abused in the past (BJS, 2006). Despite the need to address this problem, there are many limitations to corrections-based mental health treatment, such as lack of studies conducted to illustrate evidence-based effectiveness of treatment interventions and strained facility resources. This limitation is even more marked in its translation into nursing practice and measurement of the impact nurses have within correctional facilities.