Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Mental Health Panopticon Essay -- prison systems

Prisons act as a total institution where inmates are put on a strict schedule and fall under one of the most gruesome forms of social control. Because of this, many inmates rebel resulting in prisons having to increase security and impose stricter punishments. As a result of this, less effort has been put into helping mentally ill inmates. The term panopticon, coined by Bentham illustrates the concept that the prison design would allow guards to see into cells but not allowing prisoners to see out. Thus, this would allow guards to have omniscient power over the inmates. Fortunately, this never worked as a prison, however prison has created a type of mental health panopticon. This allows for mentally ill parents to feel like they are always being observed; similarly to that of an experiment. Despite prisons best attempt to equally serve all inmates to the best of their ability, prioritizing security and punishment has lead to a mental health panopticon. As a result, prisons environm ents have exacerbated negative behaviours, created an inhumane environment for prisoners and lack the means to aid in mental health. First, the prison system exacerbates negative behaviour such as drug use, self-harming behaviour and suicidal thoughts and actions. One of the most significant ways that the prison community worsens drug use, self-harming behaviour and suicidal thought is providing minimal amount of harm reduction. Accordingly, Lines makes note that higher instance of HIV/HVD and other transmitted disease are a cause on mental health issues within prison, this harm reduction measures would improve the overall health of individuals in prison (Lines at Al. 2005). Thus, the prion systems all intersects: much like society, the happier the i... ...t work. Instilling fear into people works to conform behavior to a degree but it ultimately creates prisons with exacerbated negative behaviours inhume and unfit environments. Works Cited Brown, Michelle. (2012). Empathy and Punishment. Punishment & Society 14(4): 383-401. Lamb, H. Richard., Weinberger, Linda E., & Gross, Bruce H. (2004). Mentally ill persons in the criminal justice system: Some Perspectives. Psychiatric Quarterly 75(2): 107-126. Lines, Rick., Jurgens, Ralf., Betteridge, Glenn., & Stover, Heino. (2005). Taking action to reduce injecting drug-related harms in prisons: The evidence of effectiveness of Out of control [Television series episode]. (2010). In The fift estate. CBC. Retrieved from Sapers, H. (2008). A Preventable Death. Available at:

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