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Behind bars and battling demons: Exploring the challenges faced by incarcerated individuals struggling with mental illness
Lack of public funding and psychiatric hospital closures has led many individuals struggling with mental illnesses to be incarcerated.
Nearly two million people in the United States are incarcerated, and of these, 44% of inmates in locally run jails have been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Another factor, the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused cases of homelessness to rise across the country. Studies show that homeless individuals are prone to disproportionately higher rates of being incarcerated because of their untreated illnesses.
Nefissa Kemech spoke with Officer S, a correction officer who works at a county jail in New York. Kemech asked Officer S about their training regarding dealing with these inmates, the psychiatric help that is offered in facilities and if the jails are well equipped to deal with these changes. Pleads for insinuating change have made waves across the country to support and try to put an end to the struggles of those who are victims of an unsupported, flawed system.
Listen to the interview below for more.
By Nefissa Kemech
Nefissa Kemech is a journalist from New York City with a passion for radio and podcasting. She is currently working on her Media Studies degree at CUNY Hunter College with a concentration in journalism. She has a background in profile writing, reviews and interviewing. Nefissa hopes to one day pursue travel journalism and share stories of cultures and of the lives of individuals around the world.