|The research explores how mentally ill convicts experience transcarceration as they are routinely funneled to and from the criminal justice and mental health systems. This method of processing individuals has profound effects for how disordered persons are identified with and assume the role of prisoner. These mentally ill people become part of the systems they are repeatedly channeled through, in the process, they unknowingly reify the legitimacy of their involuntary participation in transcarceration. As a result, not only do they live roles as both "bad and mad," they are also powerless to free themselves. Mentally ill offenders become prisoners of confinement; that is, they figuratively and literally become hostage to a process that restricts their role performances, leaving little room for them to re-negotiate their identities. Particular attention is given toward the field experiences of the researcher, coupled with the life stories of selected psychiatrically disordered inmates. Both theoretical and practical dimensions of this phenomenon will be considered. The paper concludes by speculating on the future research and policy implications of convict criminology for the mentally ill prisoner.
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