In the future, corrections can face a range of problems the most important of which are mental health issues and cost of prisons’ budgeting.
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The problem of mental health illness becomes more and more alarming within the last decades. All over the world, the cases of mental disorders grow. At this point, prisons affect negatively on people that makes the problem more complicated. In particular, the following aspects can significantly decrease one’s mental well-being: overcrowding, isolation from society, the shortage of sensible activity, and the lack of adequate and timely health care delivery. The mentioned factors tend to cumulate that, in turn, can lead to a suicide attempt or some other behavioral disorders. Furthermore, there is a tendency of the creation of so-called “dumping grounds” where prisoners can be sent on the basis of their mental disorders, thus being locked and losing any chance to receive appropriate psychological help. It should also be emphasized that sometimes people and, in particular, prisoners having behavioral disorders encounter discrimination and stigma. This tendency is likely to develop, creating even more negative environment for prisoners due to misconceptions about these people.
Considering that the challenge that was described above is complicated by the fact that mental disorders tend to manifest themselves at high rates in conditions of prison, it is necessary to suggest appropriate decisions, addressing the problem. First, there is a need to respond to every mental health disorder case to ensure timely treatment. Second, corrections administrations are to promote the policy of awareness and understanding among prisoners, so that to make it possible to reduce the rates of discrimination. The implementation of new technology seems to be another useful solution to this problem. For example, behavior monitoring would help to predict potential mental disorders by detecting certain deviations. Moreover, modern technologies can be employed in the treatment to advance the effectiveness of procedures and communication. Also, the treatment is to be performed at a high level, so that a prisoner could become a full-fledged member of society when he or she would leave the prison. It is essential to pay attention to prison employees and promote responsiveness as well as morale in them. The implementation of this decision is likely to increase the early recognition of mental disorders. Finally, the access to psychosocial support and adequate medication should be ensured in order to decrease the level of the further complications.
Another potential problem associated with corrections is budgeting of prisoners. Nowadays budgets and funding tend to reduce their investments in prisons’ maintenance. This also relates to health care sector and subsequent inability of prisons to provide their patients with the required treatment. Many prisons are getting closed, receiving insufficient amount of money and facing employees that prefer to change their job. Accordingly, less training would be provided to staff that can make them more responsive. Therefore, this situation becomes quite dangerous and would undoubtedly worsen in case of the lack of appropriate solutions.
The first decision that can be suggested is to reconsider the very system of budgeting to identify the areas that require immediate improvement. After that, it is important to develop a specific tool that would calculate costs and prioritize them accordingly. Moreover, continuous surveys are likely to reveal key trends and failures associated with costs that, in turn, would help to create a new effective system of prisons’ budgeting and funding.