One Book 2020-2021: the US Carceral System & Injustice

One Book Research and Resource Guide for Just Mercy & Becoming Ms. Burton

Suggested Resources

Mental Illness and Incarceration

"In a mental health crisis, people are more likely to encounter police than get medical help. As a result, 2 million people with mental illness are booked into jails each year. Nearly 15% of men and 30% of women booked into jails have a serious mental health condition.

The vast majority of the individuals are not violent criminals—most people in jails are have not yet gone to trial, so they are not yet convicted of a crime. The rest are serving short sentences for minor crimes. 

Once in jail, many individuals don't receive the treatment they need and end up getting worse, not better. They stay longer than their counterparts without mental illness. They are at risk of victimization and often their mental health conditions get worse.

After leaving jail, many no longer have access to needed healthcare and benefits. A criminal record often makes it hard for individuals to get a job or housing. Many individuals, especially without access to mental health services and supports, wind up homeless, in emergency rooms and often re-arrested. At least 83% of jail inmates with a mental illness did not have access to needed treatment.

Jailing people with mental illness creates huge burdens on law enforcement, corrections and state and local budgets. It does not protect public safety. And people who could be helped are being ignored."

-from the National Alliance on Mental Illness article
"Jailing People with Mental Illness" (cited below)


Related Resources

Source citation: "Jailing People with Mental Illness." National Alliance on Mental Illness.  Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

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Searching inside subject-specific encyclopedias

Gale Virtual Reference Library, or Gale Ebooks, is a database that houses Subject-Specific Encyclopedias. It allows you to search a basic keyword and find articles from various topical encyclopedias; however, you can also choose to search for content within a specific publication. 

As shown in the image below, which features the book called "American Prisons and Jails: An Encyclopedia of Controversies and Trends," you can use the Search Within Publication tool off on the right-hand side of the screen to search for content inside this single publication. 

  • You can also view the Table of Contents or search the book's Index

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search page in Gale Ebooks showing how to search the contents of one entire encyclopedia series


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