Health and Social Work


Tania Miah



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Tania Miah, Social Work
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Tonya Myles-Day, Social Work

During the summer of 2020, I did research pertaining to the mental health of inmates at the Erie County Holding Center. ECHC reported numerous inmate deaths due to suicide over the past ten years. I believe the deaths could be prevented with better mental health services for the inmates. Although mental health awareness is on the rise, prisoners are a forgotten population. For my research project, I wanted to find out what the assessment process was like for inmates at the Erie County Holding Center. I also wanted to know what resources are available to inmates while they are at ECHC and resources given to them after their release. The project data was collected through an anonymous survey completed by staff members at the Erie County Holding Center. Ten surveys were given out, however only six were completed due to COVID-19. This is because many deputies were reassigned to other Erie County building locations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and for the safety of employees and inmates. The surveys provided me with very useful information and gave me an insight into the processes when dealing with inmates who have mental health disorders at the Erie County Holding Center. I also consulted the book To My Brother Who Did A Crime by Barbara Habenstreit, which shared personal stories of inmates during their time in jail, providing me with the raw feelings and needs of inmates while they are incarcerated.

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Improving Mental Health for Inmates at the Erie County Holding Center
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