Year of Publication



Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Tyrone Borders

Committee Member

Dr. Kathi Harp

Committee Member

Dr. Hefei Wen


Rates of mental illnesses are consistently higher in the corrections system at all levels of incarceration. However, local jails are largely unable to meet the mental health needs of their inmates. Considering that there are several barriers to treatment seeking such as stigma, transportation, or availability of services in rural areas already, the treatment seeking behavior of people in jail differs from those not in jail. The objective of this research is to understand the factors that influence treatment seeking behavior among those in jails, and how those factors differ from those not in jail. Overall people in jail had higher rates of diagnosed mental illnesses, and worse perceptions of their own mental health that may have contributed to their higher rates of treatment seeking behavior. Transportation related barriers to treatment seeking which were prevalent among those in jail were not significant enough to decrease treatment seeking behavior in the jailed population.

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