Discussion Questions for Mental Illness in Prison
- The main messages of the show are:
- Mentally ill prisoners are human beings
- They deserve adequate mental health care
- They can return to positive roles in life
- They can help each other
- Religious faith can help
- Being open about mental illness could cut down on crime
- Young men need positive role models
Which of these messages resonate with you? Explain.
- DeWitt Buckingham has turned his life around since he was released from prison. What do you find most remarkable about his story? Do you think it could be replicated by others? Why or why not?
- What do you think of DeWitt’s experience of being inappropriately treated for mental health problems when he was in prison?
- DeWitt said that he got though the years in prison by “pure hate.” How do you think that having this attitude for years at a time might affect someone?
- Rev. Ristad said that he is sometimes asked by prisoners if God still loves them. How would you answer this question?
- What do you think you could do to help deal with the problem of mental health in prison?
- For local resources see: Resources Mentioned in the Show
These questions are to provide family and peer discussion and education. The information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical or psychological condition. If you think someone is too fragile to be part of the discussion, please have them consult their mental health care provider for individual advice regarding the situation.