Publication Date

Spring 2021


School of Behavioral Sciences


Social Work


incarceration, criminal justice, prison, mental health, mental illness, Norway, Halden Prison


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Other Psychology | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Social Justice | Social Psychology | Social Work


The purpose of this thesis is to assess and address the prevalence of mental health issues among incarcerated individuals in America. There are multiple internal and external contributing factors to the disproportionately high numbers of mentally ill inmates. Comparing the United States prison system with other countries such as Norway allows for possible paths to improving the mental health crisis that we are currently experiencing. This thesis looks at the principles and practices used in Norway's prisons as well as how they affect inmate's mental health. By comparing Norway's prison policies and design, this thesis will suggest changes in staff training, prison architecture and design, treatment of inmates, and financial spending in America's system. These changes will benefit overall inmate mental health and long-term spending.