Read Chapters 11, 12 and 13 in Pollock:
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You are a mental health counselor at Kold Klink Prison. You’ve been working with a 19-year-old, somewhat naive inmate, Henry Hapless, who has an IQ that borders on intellectual disability. He’s in prison for life on drug-possession charges, having been convicted a third time. He has a lover on the outside, and he is anxious over the fact that his lover is complaining that Henry does not write. Henry insists that he has been writing, but he thinks his mail is being intercepted by a guard.
As your sessions ensue, it turns out that Henry is having sexual relations with this guard. Although he doesn’t really object to this relationship because he feels it affords him certain privileges, including protection from abuse by other inmates, Henry believes that the guard is intercepting his letters to his lover on the outside because of jealousy. He doesn’t want to file a grievance about his mail because he fears retaliation by the guard and the prison administration itself. He asks you whether he can write to his lover during your sessions, and he asks you to mail the letters.
Although inmates can be dishonest and manipulative, you tend to believe this story. You feel that his anxiety over losing his lover is not healthy and that maintaining contact will be important to maintaining a stable state of mind.
What factors should you evaluate in considering his request? Should you mail the letters? Would your answer be different if you were his lawyer, rather than the mental health counselor? What if the lover asks the lawyer to bring letters into the prison?
If you, as the mental health counselor, encourage him to file a grievance, or if you intervene on his behalf, you are fairly certain that there will be repercussions. You’ve heard, for instance — from other counselors, not just inmates — that inmates’ grievances are usually discredited and that grievants are often punished for filing them, sometimes in segregated housing units.
Analyze the ethical issues presented in this case, using the principles discussed in your reading. Include a discussion of three-strikes statutes, imprisonment of those with substance-abuse and mental-health issues and the other issues that you identify from this problem.
paper should be approximately 2,400 words and free of distracting
errors in spelling, punctuation or syntax. You should rely primarily on
material in the reading assigned. Papers that rely only upon internet
sources will not receive credit; the purpose of the assignment is to
show that you have read and understood the material assigned.
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