Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Loose Associations

[Posted by ClinkShrink]

"If I hadn't been picked up I'd be dead out there."

Most psychiatrists don't hear patients talking about their relief at getting arrested. Certainly incarceration isn't discussed in any positive light in the media. In the past week three of my patients expressed relief about their incarceration. It was an admission that their lives had become out of control. In one case, a family member called the police knowing that it would be the only way for the patient to get "cleaned up and get the help I needed". People would argue that if there were enough "treatment-on-demand" substance abuse beds this would obviate the need for arrests, but from direct inmate experience I can tell you that many of my patients would not willingly go to treatment. Whether or not incarceration is a cost-effective intervention is up for the economists to decide. All I can tell you is that this week it was life-saving.

"And now for something completely different..."

One Oregon correctional facility found a way to turn vocational training into e-commerce. Prison Blues sells denim clothing manufactured by prisoners in the Oregon Department of Corrections. The company's theme is "made on the inside, to be worn on the outside". The catalog once featured inmates themselves as models, with their offenses listed along with the clothing information.