Letting go of the Prison Mind Set Breaking the Prison Mentality to Reduce Recidivism Free Your Mind

Have you ever felt like your life was full of unhealthy cycles and thought there was no hope of overcoming them? There is hope.

When released from prison, how do you let go of the prison mentality?

Unfortunately, when many inmates are released from prison, they don’t have a decent place to live and a support system to help them get back on their feet. Many prison inmates don’t have a good education, and adding a felony to their record makes it nearly impossible to find a job.

What jail does to your brain?

Many incarcerated individuals may experience depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, or PTSD. For some, these issues may be pre-existing conditions. For others, the issues may have started after their incarcerations. Quite often, disorders go unrecognized by people in prison and prison staff.

Can prison change a person?

Incarceration can lead to significant psychological difficulties. However, individuals react in their own way to the prison environment. Some inmates may turn inward and even become more or less paranoid, while others may become depressed. Still others will adopt what is called a "prison identity".

What is the most common mental illness in prisons?

Depression has been the most prevalent mental health condition reported by inmates, followed by mania, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Why is life after prison difficult?

Former inmates face numerous psychological challenges when released from prison, including stigma, discrimination, isolation, and instability. This can lead to devastating outcomes, like failed relationships, homelessness, substance misuse, recidivism, overdose, and suicide.

What percentage of criminals are mentally unstable?

Percent of people in state prisons who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder: 43% + In locally-run jails: 44% + Number of people experiencing "serious psychological distress" in jails: 1 in 4 + Percent of people in federal prisons who reported not receiving any mental health care while incarcerated: 66% + : as per prisonpolicy.org

Prisoners have described a process of “emotional numbing”. “It does harden you. It does make you a bit more distant,” one said, people in jail deliberately conceal and suppress their emotions. “It is who you become, and if you are hardened in the beginning then you become even harder, you become even colder, you become more detached.”

Bigger changes are needed at the systemic and legal levels. Better access to mental health services overall may prevent crime. Treating people during incarceration and providing access to ongoing treatment after they’re released may reduce recidivism rates.

Society may be confronted with a choice. We can punish offenders more severely and risk changing them for the worse, or we can design sentencing rules and prisons in a way that helps offenders rehabilitate and change for the better.

But we also need to be aware that there is a big drug epidemic in the prison system which has an economy of its own with in the prison system and it helps fund a lot of different entities within the system and corrections, which will be covered in our next video.

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