Implement Better Systems in Prison for the Mentally Ill

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Dear Correctional Service of Canada,

We ask that you take the necessary steps to provide mentally ill prisoners with the proper accommodations and facilities that they deserve. With the help of Bill C-83 there has been an end to solitary confinement for mentally ill, however this does not provide them with the necessary resources, nor help them get better for when they are released.

There are many cases of mentally ill patients being verbally and mentally abused in prison simply because officers are unaware of their condition. A study conducted by the Correctional Service of Canada revealed that almost 80% of women in custody have a mental illness. 38% of these women are suffering serious impairment because of their diagnosis. Without help or intervention, many of these women will leave prison with the same mental state or worse making them very susceptible to end up back in prison.

There should be 3 policies implemented into the prison system to make sure that all people get the help they need. The first being that everybody should be screened for mental illnesses as many people may be reluctant to come forward about any distress they may be feeling. After it has been determined who may need help for mental illnesses, they must be given proper resources including, but not limited to, therapists, mental health therapists, and more time to interact with other people. The last thing that should be done to help people with these illnesses would be to address issues such as housing, financial support, and family and social support. Helping with these things would lower the rate of recidivism coming out of prison and this good care would be better for everyone. 

Thank you for your time.