Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies


Large numbers of seriously mentally ill persons are being incarcerated because their disturbed behavior is criminalized. The criminal justice system is struggling to manage the needs of these mentally ill persons in correctional settings. This article examines the problem of the incarcerated mentally ill in terms of whether or not the correctional setting is an ethically legitimate place to house and treat these persons. First, it briefly summarizes how we arrived at this problem in the U.S. Then, it examines the problem today in the U.S. and comparatively in European nations. Finally, it closes with recommendations for establishing treatment outside correctional settings and how to best address the issue of mental illness within correctional settings.

Published Citation

Peterka-Benton, Daniela, and Brian Paul Masciadrelli. "Legitimacy of corrections as a mental health care provider: Perspectives from US and European systems." JIJIS 13 (2013): 171.