Discussion Questions for Mental Health in Jail
- Do you know anyone who has been incarcerated who also has an mental illness? What role, if any, did the mental illness have in the crime?
- If you know someone, what can you do to help them turn their lives around?
- Let the inmate know about the support you have for them
- Help understand they can recover from their mental illness
- Advocate for them or the cause of mental health courts or CIT
- Help them pay their debt to society
- What do you think about the idea of having a Mental Health Court? What do you see as the pros and cons of having one?
- What do you think about Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for police officers which trains them in how to handle people with mental illnesses? Have you heard about police with this training? Have you heard about tragedies that happen when police encounter mentally ill people?
- What things can be done to improve the situation for people released from jail who have a mental illness? What do you think about mentoring programs, support groups, family and community support? Where have you seen them work? Where have you seen them inadequate?
- What do you think about early interventions aimed at keeping people from going to jail in the first place? What kind of interventions do you think would realistically work?
- What part would you be willing to play in helping society not turn its back on people who have been incarcerated and who have a mental illness?
- For resources see: Resources for Mental Health in Jail