NIJ Study of PrisonerMental Health Problems • Nationally representative samples of prison inmates (2004, N = 18,200) and jail inmates (2002, N = 7,000) • Interviewers asked each inmate about symptoms of mental disorders they experienced within the last year • Self-reported mental disorders • State prisons: 73 percent of females and 55 percent of males • Federal prisons: 61 percent of females and 44 percent of males • Jails: 75 percent of females and 63 percent of males.
Self-reported mental health problems by type and jurisdiction • State prisoners: 43 percent had symptoms of mania, 23 percent major depression and 15 percent psychotic disorder. • Federal prisoners: 35 percent had symptoms of mania, 16 percent major depression and 10 percent psychotic disorder. • Jail inmates: 54 percent had symptoms of mania, 30 percent major depression and 24 percent psychotic disorder, such as delusions or hallucinations
Self-reported mental health problems: violence, recidivism, drug and alcohol abuse • Violence • 61 percent of state prisoners and 44 percent of jail inmates had a current or past violent offense. • Recidivism • 25 percent of state prisoners and 26 percent of jail inmates had served three or more prior sentences. • Drug and alcohol abuse • Inmates with self-reported mental health problems had high rates of drug and alcohol dependency and abuse in the year before they were confined • 74 percent of state prisoners and 76 percent of jail inmates • 37 percent of state prisoners and 34 percent of jail inmates said they used drugs at the time of their offense. • 13 percent of state prisoners and 12 percent of jail inmates said they used methamphetamines in the month before their offense.