Prisoners suffering from mental disorders are a particularly vulnerable group in prisons and identify a whole range of needs, especially when it comes to protecting their rights and providing appropriate assistance. All prisoners are at risk of developing mental disabilities while in prison, and factors such as overcrowding, various forms of violence, enforced loneliness, or lack of privacy (Bartol and Bartol, 2020). In addition, social isolation and inadequate medical services are just some of the predictors that have a detrimental effect on the mental well-being of most prisoners. Moreover, mental disorders are a severe risk factor for suicide, which is the leading cause of death among prisoners. Even though prisoners have a relatively large number of mental disorders, one of the most common is the so-called mosaic of despair.
A mental aberration such as the “mosaic of despair” can often lead to severe consequences. Bartol and Bartol (2020) claim that fears make psychologically stable prisoners vulnerable due to self-doubt. As a result, this leads to various self-inflicted injuries, mutilations, and in some cases, suicides. In this case, prisoners need psychological help and support. Prison staff is also involved in taking immediate measures to eliminate the possibility of deaths of prisoners.
Given the possibility of convicts using various tactics, correctional officers should build individual work with them. At the same time, careful monitoring of the direction of external activity and the nature of the experiences of convicts will prevent, first, interpersonal, or personal-group conflicts. Second, suicidal attempts, and third, to provide support in adapting to specific conditions, means of correction, and situations of serving a sentence. Many problems can cause psychological breakdowns in prisoners, for example, difficult situations in the family, the death of loved ones, a ban on early release (Bartol and Bartol, 2020). Such cases need to be addressed and contribute to maintaining the mental health of convicts.
In addition to the hard news that prisoners can receive, those prisoners who are in isolation are also involved in the “mosaic of despair.” It is known that complete isolation from the outside world can cause significant damage to the mental balance of convicts (Bartol and Bartol, 2020). For some, perhaps, isolation and fencing from the outside world can become, on the contrary, positive. They will have the opportunity to take a break from the events taking place in freedom, difficulties, and fears that could haunt them earlier. In addition, isolation will limit unpleasant situations with cellmates, such as fights, violence, rudeness.
In conclusion, there are many different mental disorders that harm people’s lives. Such deviations can also lead to self-mutilation and suicide in prison inmates. One of these deviations is the “mosaic of despair.” It begins with the fact that a person is struck by an event directly in prison itself or at large. As a result, the prisoner tends to injure himself physically or die. In this case, they need the immediate help of specialist’s psychologists. Psychological and psychiatric care provides more effective rehabilitation, significantly reducing the possibility of relapse of aggressive crimes. Due to the high level of mental disorders and the significant risk of their release in correctional institutions, prisoners are a vulnerable group. This group requires the development of psychological and psychiatric services, the development of treatment and rehabilitation programs, and the active involvement of social support services.
Bartol, C. & Bartol, A. (2020). Introduction to forensic psychology. Sage.