Fri. Jun 14th, 2024
Managing mental health in correctional facilities

Incarceration and mental health issues are inextricably linked, according to Dr. Wally Campbell, Chief Psychologist at the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC). He explained that approximately one-third of inmates arrive with mental health challenges, but more are diagnosed while in prison. The harsh and stressful environment of prison can exacerbate existing mental health issues or cause situational mental illness, making coping mechanisms challenging.

Dr. Campbell has worked in correctional facilities since the 1990s and described the assessment process for mental health needs at IDOC as similar to other states. Upon arrival, inmates undergo a screening by nurses in the reception diagnostic unit to determine any immediate mental health crises. The assessment includes questions about mental health history and current well-being to ensure proper care is provided.

Different levels of classification are assigned to those with mental health struggles to ensure they receive appropriate care. Treatment for mental illness can help reduce the likelihood of reoffending, but resources are limited in addressing the needs of incarcerated individuals. Dr. Campbell emphasized that while addressing mental health is crucial, it may not solve the underlying criminal behavior of some individuals. The dual challenge of treating mental health and criminal behavior remains a complex issue in correctional facilities.

By Aiden Nguyen

As a content writer at, I delve into the realms of storytelling with the power of words. With a knack for research and a passion for crafting compelling narratives, I strive to bring forth engaging and informative articles for our readers. From decoding complex concepts to unraveling current events, I aim to captivate and educate through the art of writing. Join me on this journey as we explore the ever-evolving landscape of news and knowledge together.

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