Criminal Minds: Substance Use and Mental Health in the Justice System

Tuesday, December 3, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Memorial Union Building Theater II
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Gaudet, Kate
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Criminal Minds: Substance Use and Mental Health in the Justice System

It has become a commonplace that prisons are now our country’s largest mental health facilities. The rate of mental illness (including substance-use disorders) in prisons and jails is estimated to be between double and quadruple that in the general population. New Hampshire has the sad distinction of being at the bottom in the nation’s rankings of mental health and addiction recovery access; many of our state’s mentally ill people are being “treated” by the correctional system. Understanding the definition of a criminal requires understanding the role of mental illness.

Anne E. Parsons, Associate Professor of History and Director of Public History, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Professor Parson’s new book, From Asylum to Prison: Deinstitutionalization and the Rise of Mass Incarceration after 1945 (UNC Press, 2018), analyzes the connections between the politics of incarceration and the deinstitutionalization movement of the mid-twentieth century. Her work emphasizes how the lack of community health services and the fear of mental illness created an epidemic of mental illness within the prison system.

Tom Velardi, Strafford County Attorney

Philip Rondeau, ACLU-NH

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