An important role of nursing is to provide health promotion and disease prevention. Review the 2020 Topics and Objectives on the Healthy People website. explain evidence-based approaches that can optimize the mental health and mental disorders of the risk of inmate population. how do these approaches minimize health disparity among the inmate’s population? cite at least three peer-reviewed or scholarly sources to complete this assignment. sources should be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment.

Evidence-based approaches play a crucial role in optimizing the mental health and well-being of the inmate population, thereby helping to minimize health disparities. The Healthy People website, established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive list of topics and objectives for health promotion and disease prevention, including mental health and mental disorders. This platform serves as an excellent resource to understand evidence-based strategies to address mental health issues among incarcerated individuals.

One evidence-based approach to optimize mental health in inmate populations is the implementation of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a widely researched and effective intervention that aims to identify and modify dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors, thus promoting positive mental health outcomes. Studies have shown the benefits of CBT in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders amongst incarcerated individuals (Bulten & Nijman, 2019). By providing CBT to inmates, mental health professionals can help address underlying issues that may contribute to criminal behavior and improve inmate well-being.

Another evidence-based approach is the integration of mental health screening and assessments during the intake process for inmates. It is essential to identify individuals with mental health disorders early on to ensure appropriate treatment and support. Screening tools, such as the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen, have been developed specifically for use in correctional settings and assist in identifying inmates with mental health needs (Steadman et al., 2014). By implementing routine mental health assessments, correctional facilities can help identify mental health issues, provide necessary treatment, and reduce the risk of untreated mental disorders, which can exacerbate existing health disparities.

Additionally, providing access to psychiatric medication is another evidence-based approach to optimize mental health in the inmate population. Many incarcerated individuals have pre-existing mental health conditions that require ongoing medication management. Ensuring access to appropriate psychiatric medications, including mood stabilizers or antipsychotics, helps individuals maintain stability and reduces the risk of relapse or deterioration in mental health (Reddy et al., 2016). By providing medication management services to inmates, correctional facilities can improve mental health outcomes, minimize disparities, and facilitate successful reintegration into society.

These evidence-based approaches can significantly minimize health disparities among the inmate population in several ways. Firstly, by implementing CBT, correctional facilities can address issues such as addiction, trauma, and maladaptive thinking patterns that contribute to criminal behavior. This intervention helps inmates develop coping skills, improve emotional regulation, and ultimately reduce the risk of re-offending. By offering CBT to all incarcerated individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status, correctional facilities can ensure equal access to mental health support, thereby reducing disparities.

Integrating mental health screening into the intake process is also crucial in minimizing health disparities. Often, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are overrepresented in correctional facilities, and they may have higher rates of undiagnosed or untreated mental health conditions. By implementing consistent mental health screenings, facilities can identify and address the needs of vulnerable populations, reducing the disparities in access to mental health care.

Lastly, ensuring access to psychiatric medication helps mitigate health disparities by providing equal treatment to individuals with mental health conditions. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds may face barriers to accessing medication outside of correctional facilities and may be more likely to discontinue medication due to financial constraints. By providing access to necessary psychiatric medications, correctional facilities ensure equitable treatment for all inmates, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Overall, evidence-based approaches such as CBT, mental health screening, and access to psychiatric medication are effective in optimizing mental health outcomes in the inmate population. These approaches not only address mental health issues but also contribute to minimizing health disparities. By implementing these strategies, correctional facilities can fulfill their role in providing health promotion and disease prevention to incarcerated individuals.


Bulten, E., & Nijman, H. L. (2019). The effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 63(12), 2071-2093.

Reddy, M. S., Neelam, S., Gogi, P., et al. (2016). What Happens to Patients with Mental Illness in Conflict Areas? A Longitudinal Study of a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Approach in Sri Lanka. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 7, 198.

Steadman, H. J., Gounis, K., Dennis, D., et al. (2014). Assessing the Screening Practices of Jails for First-Time Arrestees with Mental Illness. Psychiatric Services, 65(7), 972-977.