Easier Said than Done: Methodological Challenges in Exploring Prevalence of Mental Health Illness among Rural Jail Inmates in the United States
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Publisher:Ohio State University. Libraries
Citation:International Journal of Rural Criminology, v4, n2 (June, 2019), p. 258-272
A high prevalence of mental health illness among the incarcerated and has made jails one of the largest providers of mental health services, a purpose for which they are not equipped. Further research shows that failure to effectively treat mental health problems is a leading cause of post-release recidivism. Despite the evidence, there is no systematic investigation on the prevalence of mental health illness and its correlates in the context of rural jails. Our study looks at the methodological challenges of conducting this type of research in a rural jail environment. Inmates comprise a vulnerable population. Hence, the federally mandated regulations that are required to complete a study are greater, meaning Institutional Review Board approval is much more complex. In addition, there is a lack of familiarity with the process of collaborations on the part of researchers and jail staff. We outline how we addressed the challenges created by this dynamic. We found the proactive communication and ongoing dialogue amongst all parties to be a key element to addressing a variety of obstacles that arose in the process of taking our research from the drawing board into the field.
Rights:Copyright © 2019 Joseph Rukus, Veena S. Kulkarni
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