This brief presents prevalence estimates of two mental health indicators based on data reported by state and federal prisoners: the prisoner reported experiences that met the threshold for serious psychological distress (SPD) during the 30 days prior to their interview and the prisoner having a history of a mental health problem. Findings are based on self-reported data from the 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates.
- About 14% of state and 8% of federal prisoners met the threshold for past 30-day SPD.
- Females in state (19%) or federal (17%) prison were more likely than males in state (14%) or federal (7%) prison to have met the threshold for past 30-day SPD.
- About 43% of state and 23% of federal prisoners had a history of a mental health problem.
- An estimated 27% of state and 14% of federal prisoners reported being told they had a major depressive disorder, the most common mental disorder reported.