Advertisement

Migrant Mental Health, Law, and Detention: Impacts and Alternatives

  • Chelsea DavisEmail author
Chapter
Part of the International Perspectives on Migration book series (IPMI, volume 7)

Abstract

Asylum is granted to about 30,000 of over 75,000 refugees that arrive in the U.S. each year, and most have experienced severe trauma and possibly torture. It is the role of the state to not only protect asylum seekers with mental disabilities but to foster mental health within this vulnerable population. Numerous legal barriers to addressing refugee mental health exist because of a lack of procedural safeguards in immigration proceedings and detention centers. Various options piloted in the immigration system or modeled on the criminal justice system could help ensure due process, increase resolution of cases and good case outcomes, and create a fairer system for immigrants with mental illness, particularly programs using social workers and psychologists who work with attorneys to promote access to services. More research is needed to create a system of health services and legal protections that cultivate refugee mental health and resilience.

Keywords

Asylum seekers Mental health/illness Trauma Immigration justice Immigration court Immigration detention Forensic psychology Appointed counsel Procedural safeguards Public health Medical associations Medicalization 

References

  1. American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. (2005). Ethics guidelines for the practice of forensic psychiatry.Google Scholar
  2. Appleseed, Texas Appleseed, & Chicago Appleseed. (2011). Improving efficiency and ensuring justice in the immigration court system. Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate.Google Scholar
  3. Barr, H. (2001). Mental health courts: An advocate’s perspective. Urban Justice Center. http://www.urbanjustice.org/publications/pdfs/mentalhealth/MentalHealthCourts.pdf. Accessed 27 Aug 2004.
  4. Bhugra, D. (2004). Migration and mental health. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 109(4), 243–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boothroyd, R. A., Mercado, C. C., Poythress, N. G., Christy, A., & Petrila, J. (2005). Clinical outcomes of defendants in mental health court. Psychiatric Services, 56(7), 829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bosworth, M., & Kaufman, E. (2011). Foreigners in a carceral age: Immigration and imprisonment in the US. Stanford Law & Policy Review, Vol. 22, no. 1, 2011, Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper no.34/2011.Google Scholar
  7. Bourassa, J. (2009). Psychosocial interventions and mass populations. International Social Work, 52(6), 743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carswell, K., Blackburn, P., & Barker, C. (2011). The relationship between trauma, post-migration problems and the psychological well-being of refugees and asylum seekers. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 57(2), 107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chow, W., Law, S., Andermann, L., Yang, J., Leszcz, M., Wong, J., & Sadavoy, J. (2010). Multi-family psycho-education group for assertive community treatment clients and families of culturally diverse background: A pilot study. Community Mental Health Journal, 46(4), 364–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Committee on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists. (1991). Specialty guidelines for forensic psychologists. American Psychological Association, division 41.Google Scholar
  11. Crock-Carsey, Sherri. (2006). Mental Health Court Liaison, Athens County Municipal Court Substance Abusing/Mentally Ill Court. Interview with Carolyn Turgeon, Center for Court Innovation.Google Scholar
  12. De Jesus-Rentas, G., Boehnlein, J., & Sparr, L. (2010). Central american victims of gang violence as asylum seekers: The role of the forensic expert. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 38(4), 490.Google Scholar
  13. Denckla, D., & Berman, G. (2001). Rethinking the revolving door: A look at the mental health courts. New York: Center for Court Innovation.Google Scholar
  14. Fazel, M., & Stein, A. (2002). The mental health of refugee children. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 87(5), 366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fazel, M., & Stein, A. (2003). Mental health of refugee children: Comparative study. BMJ, 327(7407), 134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fazel, M., Reed, R. V., Panter-Brick, C., & Stein, A. (2011). Mental health of displaced and refugee children resettled in high-income countries: Risk and protective Factors. The Lancet, 379(9812), 266–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Feldman, R. (2006). Primary health care for refugees and asylum seekers: A review of the literature and a framework for services. Public health 120(9), 809–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Finkle, M. J., Kurth, R., Cadle, C., & Mullan J. (2009). Competency courts: A creative solution for restoring competency to the competency process. Behavioral Sciences & the Law , 27(5), 767–786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fisher, W. H., Packer, I. K., Grisso, T., McDermeit, M., & Brown, J. M. (2000). From case management to court clinic: Examining forensic system involvement of persons with severe mental illness. Mental Health Services Research, 2(1), 41–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Frumkin, I. B., & Friedland, J. (1995). Forensic evaluations in immigration cases: Evolving issues. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 13(4), 477–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Georgetown Law Human Rights Institute. Sent ‘Home’ with nothing: The deportation of Jamaicans with mental disabilities. (2011). Global health watch, the global health landscape, in global health watch 2 (pp. 210–223). London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  22. Grove, N. J., & Zwi, A. B. (2006). Our health and theirs: Forced migration, othering, and public health. Social Science & Medicine, 62(8), 1931–1942.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Grudzinskas Jr, A. J., Clayfield, J. C., Roy-Bujnowski, K., Fisher, W. H., & Richardson, M. H. (2005). Integrating the criminal justice system into mental health service delivery: The worcester diversion experience. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 23(2), 277–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hagan, J., & Phillips, S. (2008). Border blunders: The unanticipated human and economic costs of the US approach to immigration control, 1986-2007. Criminology & Public Policy, 7(1), 83–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hagan, J., Eschbach, K., & Rodriguez, N. (2008). US deportation policy, family separation, and circular migration. International Migration Review, 42(1), 64-88, 1813–1820.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hagan, J., Castro, B., & Rodriguez, N. (2010). The effects of US deportation policies on immigrant families and communities: Cross-border perspectives. NCL REV, 88, 1799–1823.Google Scholar
  27. Hannaford-Agor, P., & Mott, N. (2003). Research on self-represented litigation: Preliminary results and methodological considerations. Justice System Journal, 24, 163.Google Scholar
  28. Harlow, M. C., & LeBourgeois III, H. W. (2007). Competency hearings for aliens during deportation proceedings. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 35(4), 530.Google Scholar
  29. Herinckx, H. A., Swart, S. C., Ama, S. M., Dolezal, C. D., & King, S. (2005). Rearrest and linkage to mental health services among clients of the clark county mental health court program. Psychiatric Services, 56(7), 853.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hing, B. O. (2010). Systemic failure: Mental illness, detention, and deportation. UC Davis Journal of Immigration Law and Policy.Google Scholar
  31. Human Rights Watch & American Civil Liberties Union. (2010). Deportation by default: Mental disability, unfair hearings, and indefinite detention in the US immigration system.Google Scholar
  32. Jones, D. R., & Smith, S. V. (2004). Medical evidence in asylum and human rights appeals. International Journal of Refugee Law, 16, 381–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. The role of mental health courts in system reform. Civil Rights and Human Dignity.Google Scholar
  34. Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts. (2011). Task force for criminal justice collaboration on mental health issues: Final report. Report to the Judicial Council.Google Scholar
  35. Katzmann, R. A. (2008). Legal profession and the unmet needs of the immigrant poor. The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 21, 3.Google Scholar
  36. Kerwin, D. (2005). Revisiting the need for appointed counsel. Insight.Google Scholar
  37. Lamb, H. R., Weinberger, L. E., & Reston-Parham, C. (1996). Court intervention to address the mental health needs of mentally ill offenders. Psychiatric Services.Google Scholar
  38. Legal Action Center, American Immigration Council. (2011). Immigrants with Mental Disabilities in Removal Proceedings, Latest Developments and Additional Resources. http://www.legalactioncenter.org/clearinghouse/litigation-issue-pages/immigrants-mental-disabilities-removal-proceedings.
  39. Lustig, S. L., Delucchi, K., Tennakoon, L., & Kaul, B. (2008). Burnout and stress among united states immigration judges. Annual Reviews, 12, 14.Google Scholar
  40. Mautino, Kathrin S. (2004). Mental competence in the context of immigration proceedings. Journal of Immigrant Health, 6(1), 1–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Meffert, S. M., Musalo, K., McNiel, D. E., & Binder, R. L. (2010). The role of mental health professionals in political asylum processing. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 38(4), 479.Google Scholar
  42. Miller, K. E. (1999). Rethinking a familiar model: Psychotherapy and the mental health of refugees. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 29(4), 283–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mukhopadhyay, R. (2008). Death in detention: Medical and mental health consequences of indefinite detention of immigrants in the united states. Seattle Journal of Social Justice, 7, 693–736.Google Scholar
  44. National Immigration Forum. (2011). Immigrants behind bars: How, why, and how much? Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  45. National Organization of Forensic Social Work. (1987). Code of Ethics. www.nofsw.org.
  46. Pitsker, N. (2007). Due process for all: Applying eldridge to require appointed counsel for asylum seekers. California Law Review, 95(1), 169–198.Google Scholar
  47. Post Deportation Human Rights Project. (2008–2009). Keeping families connected: Annual Report. Boston College: Center for Human Rights & International Justice.Google Scholar
  48. Post Deportation Human Rights Project. (2009–2010). Annual report. Boston College: Center for Human Rights and International Justice.Google Scholar
  49. Pourgourides, C. (2006). Dilemmas in the Treatment of Asylum Seekers. Psychiatry, 6(2), 56–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ochoa, K. C., Pleasants, G. L., Penn, J. V., & Stone, D. C. (2010). Disparities in justice and care: Persons with severe mental illnesses in the US immigration detention system. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 38(3), 392.Google Scholar
  51. Office of Inspector General. (2011). Management of mental health cases in immigration detention. Washington D.C.: Department of Homeland Security.Google Scholar
  52. Packer, Travis, Esq. (2010). Non-Citizens with Mental Disabilities: The need for better care in detention and in court.Google Scholar
  53. Priest, D, & Goldstein, A. (2008). Suicides point to gaps in treatment. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/specials/immigration/cwc_d3p1.html. Accessed May 2008.
  54. Ramji-Nogales, J., Schoenholtz, A. I., & Schrag, P. G. (2007). Refugee roulette: Disparities in asylum adjudication. Stanford Law Review, 60(2), 295.Google Scholar
  55. Robjant, K., Robbins, I., & Senior, V. (2009). Psychological distress amongst immigration detainees: A cross-sectional questionnaire study. British Journal of Clinical Psychology , 48(3), 275–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Robjant, K., Hassan, R., & Katona, C. (2009). Mental health implications of detaining asylum seekers: Systematic review. The British Journal of Psychiatry , 194(4), 306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rousseau, C., Mekki-Berrada, A., & Moreau, S. (2001). Trauma and extended separation from family among Latin American and African refugees in Montreal. Psychiatry: Interpersonal & Biological Processes, 64(1), 40–59.Google Scholar
  58. Rousseau, C., Key, F., & Measham, T. (2005). The work of culture in the treatment of psychosis in migrant adolescents. Clinical child psychology and psychiatry, 10(3), 305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rousseau, C., Ter Kuile, S., Munoz, M., Nadeau, L., Ouimet, M. J., Kirmayer, L., & Crépeau, F. (2008). Health care access for refugees and immigrants with precarious status: Public health and human right challenges. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 99(4), 290–292.Google Scholar
  60. Ruiz-Casares, M., Rousseau, C., Derluyn, I., Watters, C., & Crépeau, F. (2010). Right and access to healthcare for undocumented children: Addressing the gap between international conventions and disparate implementations in North America and Europe. Social Science & Medicine, 70(2), 329–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sadoff, R. L. (2011). Ethical issues in forensic psychiatry: Minimizing harm. Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  62. Sheikh, M., MacIntyre, C. R., & Perera, S. (2008). Preventive detention: The ethical ground where politics and health meet focus on asylum seekers in Australia. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62(6), 480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sirotich, F. (2009). The criminal justice outcomes of jail diversion programs for persons with mental illness: A review of the evidence. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 37(4), 461.Google Scholar
  64. Sly, K. A., Sharples, J., Lewin, T. J., & Bench, C. J. (2009). Court outcomes for clients referred to a community mental health court liaison service. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 32(2), 92–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Steadman, H. J. (1992). Boundary spanners: A key component for the effective interactions of the justice and mental health systems. Law and Human Behavior, 16(1), 75–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Steadman, H. J., Davidson, S., & Brown, C. (2001). Law & psychiatry: Mental health courts: Their promise and unanswered questions. Psychiatric Services, 52(4), 457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Steele, Z., Silove, D., Brooks, R., Momartin, S., Alzuhairi, B., & Susljik, I. (2006). Impact of immigration detention and temporary protection on the mental health of refugees. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 188(1), 58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Steinglass, P. (2001). Forced relocation: A family researcher/clinician’s perspective. Psychiatry: Interpersonal & Biological Processes, 64(1), 64–68.Google Scholar
  69. Strijk, P. J. M., Van Meijel, B., & Gamel, C. (2010). J. Health and Social Needs of Traumatized Refugees and Asylum Seekers: An Exploratory Study. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care.Google Scholar
  70. Texas Appleseed. (2010). Justice for immigration’s hidden population: Protecting the rights of persons with mental disabilities in the immigration court and detention system. Austin, TX.Google Scholar
  71. Toki, V. (2010). Therapeutic jurisprudence and mental health courts for maori. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  72. Tribe, R. (2002). Mental health of refugees and asylum-seekers. Advances in psychiatric treatment, 8(4), 240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Tsankov M. E. (2009). Incompetent respondents in removal proceedings. Immigration Law Advisor, U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, 3:1, 2009. http://www.justice.gov/eoir/vll/ILA-Newsleter/ILA%202009/vol3no4.pdf. Accessed 15 Feb 2010.
  74. Turner, S. W., & Herlihy, J. (2009). Working with refugees and asylum seekers. Psychiatry, Specific Populations, 8(8), 322–324.Google Scholar
  75. Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic. (2010). Removing refugees: U.S. deportation policy and the Cambodian-American community. Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, Fordham Law School, New York City.Google Scholar
  76. Watters, C. (2001). Emerging paradigms in the mental health care of refugees. Social Science & Medicine, 52(11), 1709–1718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Watters, C., & Ingleby, D. (2004). Locations of care: Meeting the mental health and social care needs of refugees in Europe. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 27(6), 549–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Weiskopf Consulting Services. (2000). Draft forensic mental health standards and guidelines. Presented to The New York State Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors.Google Scholar
  79. World Health Organization. (2010). How health systems can address health inequalities linked to migration and ethnicity. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe.Google Scholar
  80. Zimerman, N., & Tyler, T. R. (2010). Between access to counsel and access to justice: A psychological perspective. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 37, 473–507.Google Scholar
  81. Zonana, Howard MD. (2010). Commentar: The role of forensic psychiatry in the asylum process. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 38, 499–501.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mailman School of Public Health (MPH)Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations