By Simone Weichselbaum, The Marshall Project

June 14, 2017

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The relentless pressures of prison life on inmates’ mental health — gang

violence, solitary confinement and arbitrary discipline, among them — have

long been subjects for psychological and academic research. But the

cumulative impact on corrections officers, including an apparent high rate

of suicide, has rarely been studied in depth.

 

That is about to change. In California, one of the nation’s largest prison

systems — housing about 130,000 people on a given day— the union of active

and retired corrections officers is participating in an extensive study over

the next few years to assess the need for permanent mental health services

for the state’s roughly 26,000 officers.