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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Criminalization of the mentally ill : a study of psychiatric services within the Lower Mainland Regional Correctional Centre, Health Care Centre Chow, Lily Lucia


This paper examines the plight of the incarcerated mentally ill. After a consideration of the historical factors which have contributed to the current philosophy and pattern of services throughout North America, and specifically in British Columbia, the paper reports on a qualitative study using participant observation, informal and formal interviews, and Strauss' Constant Comparative Methods which was undertaken to identify the needs of the mentally ill individuals who are serving a term of imprisonment in the Health Care Centre of the Lower Mainland Regional Correctional Centre. Altogether there were eighteen formal participants. They included six mentally ill offenders, six correctional personnel, and six health care professionals. A critical analysis of the major findings -alienation, lack of organizational commitment, and the incongruencies between our social policies and practices - provided the basis for program recommendations. The challenge lies in the building of a vision that values humane treatment for the marginal members of our society.

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