Psychiatric needs in local jails: emergency issues

Am J Psychiatry. 1984 Jun;141(6):774-7. doi: 10.1176/ajp.141.6.774.


There is an urgent need for psychiatric services for mentally ill inmates in local jails. The authors recommend that a psychiatric team be established inside the jail to provide short-term crisis evaluation, disposition, and treatment; that special training be provided for jail booking personnel in the recognition of psychiatric problems during the initial jail screening and classification process; that special modules be developed for mentally ill inmates; and that inmates in need of hospitalization have easy access to hospital beds. They describe a psychiatric ward actually located within a county jail to treat mentally ill inmates who are considered security risks.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Prisons*
  • Residential Facilities
  • Social Control, Formal
  • United States