The demographic covered in the documentary were predominantly middle aged men, mostly belonging to lower social class. Individuals suffering from mental illnesses have irrational thought processes that often cause them to have auditory, visual and olfactory hallucinations and delusions which impair their judgment and cognitions causing them to hurt other people and engaging in felonious activities. The biggest factor in mental illnesses is that the individual loses control of his behavior and as a result, this leads to catastrophic repercussions for the individual.
Essentially, people with impaired mental capability can plead not guilty by reason of insanity but then the people lack the finances to afford a good defense attorney to make a strong case against the prosecution and as a result the said individual often end up head to head with the criminal justice system. The fact that these people are in a jail system, they not only pose a great threat to others but themselves as well (Torrey, 2010, 2). They are incarcerated with other criminals as well, who may try to harm them and are equally exposed to that threat. A person with a mental illness is entitled to proper rehabilitation, which cannot be provided in a jail and therefore, a lot of ethical issues come to surface because the individuals are entitled to be provided with support after their release. One of the major ethical issues involved in the jurisdiction involving mentally ill individuals is that one cannot determine whether or not the crimes pre-meditated or accident. The fact that the individual is mentally ill often causes him to act in an unusual manner which may lead to an accident and because the individual is incapable of defending himself, he will obviously have a very strong case against him.
This is the concept that is covered in the PBS documentary titled “The Released”, which discusses the fact that American prison