The 2011–2012 annual report, Correctional Investigator of Canada showed that 36% of federal offenders needed psychiatric or psychological support. It also showed that 45% of male inmates and 69% of female inmates were hospitalized for a mental health issue. This overrepresentation of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system is often referred to as the “criminalization” of mental illness. Mental Health and Criminal Justice Policy Framework is a report by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health that provides an overview of:
- The causes of the criminalization of mental illness, how this can be prevented.
- The role of police officers related to the apprehension of people with mental issues and their diversion away from the justice system
- The benefits of mental health courts and post-charge diversion programs
- Recent changes to Canada’s “Not Criminally Responsible” system.
- The corrections system’s approach to dealing with people with mental health issues.
The report also outlines principles for a comprehensive Canadian approach to mental health and criminal justice and examples of actions that result from these principles.
You can read this Research Report Round-up on the EENet website.
Research Report Round-ups are brief summaries of research reports, presented in a user-friendly format. To read EENet’s clear language report summaries, visit www.eenet.ca.