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Long-term incarceration may cause unique emotional issues

If you have been arrested for a serious charge or multiple serious charges, you are likely aware that your life is in the balance. Convictions for certain crimes, such as drug trafficking, armed robbery and murder can carry prison terms lasting decades. While the prospect of losing that much of your life may be daunting, it is possible that long-term incarceration is more damaging than you suspect.

According to the results of a study in which 25 released prisoners participated in in-depth interviews, those who spend long periods of time in prison suffer from a variety of mental health issues. The ex-prisoners had all received life sentences, but served, on average, 19 years in a state-run institute of corrections

The results of the study indicated that prisoners released after such lengthy terms experience symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. An assessment of the interviews suggested that the ex-prisoners suffered from a specific set of symptoms that included alienation, social sensory disorientation and institutionalized personality traits. In other words, it appears that there is a post-incarceration syndrome that is a subset of PTSD.

If the responses of the research subjects are any indication, then the effects of long-term imprisonment are carried by ex-prisoners well after their release dates. This bears out the importance of forming a strong defense strategy aimed at either keeping you out of prison or limiting the number of years you will have to serve.

If you are facing the prospect of an extended period of incarceration, you may wish to seek the aid of an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney. The attorney could help see that your rights are protected and that you are not subject to an unfair and excessive degree of punishment. The attorney could work with the prosecution in an attempt to reach a plea agreement that will result in you receiving the best available outcome.

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