By Pyerse Dandridge
Author: Subprime Felon: Inside Federal Prison Camp
Mental health disorders often result from extended time in incarceration. After release, men are sent back into society with not only criminal convictions, but gaps in employment, negative stigmas, alternate mentalities, and an extreme amount of work necessary to shed the skin society now sees. Simply reentering society can cause high anxiety and the consistent rejection can cause depression in terms of job searching.
It is clear that mental health issues are present in criminals during incarceration, but post-release, these anxieties have increased and other mental health disorders make recidivism highly likely in over 50 percent of men. Mental health issues can inhibit much of daily life including finding a good job. Successfully finding a good job is difficult because former inmates are usually subjected to obtaining low income jobs like janitorial work or fast food employment. Their past mistakes are used as ammunition in such a way that it is difficult to maintain motivation to keep up a positive path towards success. Most people have experienced the stress of job searching, however, think of the increased amount of stress when the odds are stacked extremely high against you.
Mental health issues can take a real toll on life. Success could almost be said to be completely out of reach due to the fact that underlying conditions prevent the ability to conduct oneself properly in society. Anger, paranoia, abrasiveness, high anxiety, mood swings, and other characteristics that are created during incarceration can cause major problems for many trying to create positive relationships with employers and co-workers.
It is clear that success post-release depends highly on the help these men receive to rejoin society with positive hope for something beyond a life of crime. Recidivism is twice as likely to occur in those who are released from prison with untreated mental health issues. If mental health issues were treated properly, these men could have a chance at a productive life.
Many don’t realize that male inmates must live a life completely isolated from civilized society, procure a heightened masculine mask fit for incarceration (in order to survive), and then are kicked back out into society. Often they are back in society with a completely different mentality than before their incarceration and are now without any genuine direction on how to survive outside prison walls. Considering all they’ve gone through just to pay their debt to society, these men have very little chance at success.