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11 J. Offender Counseling, Services & Rehab. 1 (1986-1987)

handle is hein.journals/wjor11 and id is 1 raw text is: 


     On the Mental Health of Prisoners

   About twenty-five years ago I attended a meeting for members of
an association for the psychiatric treatment of offenders. It was held
in Washington, D.C. and most of those in attendance, like most of
the membership itself, consisted of psychiatrists in private practice
in the District of Columbia. Several perceptions at that meeting
have remained over all the time that has passed. First, in the entire
nation twenty-five years ago there were only five or six psychiatrists
engaged in the full time practice of treating incarcerated offenders.
Second, most of the members of the association earned a very good
livelihood by treating high level employees of the United States
Government who lived in constant fear of their jobs and reputation
because of their avowed homosexuality. Third, everybody at the
meeting agreed that all prisoners suffered from one or more mental
illnesses. For a non psychiatrist, like myself, the meeting provided
a profound and enduring learning experience. Somewhat earlier,
there was another profound learning experience related to the men-
tal health of prisoners.
   About thirty years ago as I was about to teach a college class in
Criminology for the first time I was urged by the Chairman to use a
certain book as the required text for the course. He was one of three
           Journal of Offender Counseling, Services & Rehabilitation
                     Vol. 1 1(l), Fall/Winter 1986
            © 1986 by The Haworth Press, Inc. Alt rights reserved.

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