Reports of people with mental disorders without access to treatment are a major occurrence in prisons outside and within Africa. An estimated 450 000 000 people worldwide suffer from mental or behavioural disorders. The disproportionately high rate of mental disorders in prisons is due to several factors. The factors include the widespread misconception that all persons with mental disorders are a danger to the public; the general intolerance of many societies to difficult or disturbing behaviour, the failure to promote treatment, care and rehabilitation, and above all the lack of or poor access to mental health services in many countries.
Many of these disorders may be present before admission to prison and may be further exacerbated by the stress of imprisonment. However mental disorders may develop during imprisonment itself as a consequence of prevailing conditions.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2011.