A criminal conviction has the potential to upturn your entire world. Most people focus on the potential financial impact or the time you might spend in jail. But what you should really focus on is the extensive repercussions to your health.
After all, the justice system in America has many flaws. These flaws can have an unfortunate and notable impact on your overall mental and physical health.
Categories of dealing with the legal system
NC State University held a study recently that showed how the justice system can impact physical and mental health. First, they grouped cases they looked at into four categories. These included: those arrested, those charged, those convicted and those sentenced. Research has already shown that time in jail has a substantial effect on the overall health of an individual.
This study showed that the impact on health starts from the moment of arrest. Though it may increase or worsen as a person goes through the four categories, it does not mean that earlier stages are “trivial” in comparison to later ones.
Declines in physical and mental health
Studies point to an overall decline in the physical and mental state of those facing the stress of the justice system. Stress has negative impacts in many ways. Some physical manifestations include digestive issues like bloating or nausea, headaches, and even full body aches.
Mentally, a person under prolonged or intense stress may experience trouble concentrating, difficulties sleeping, and unusual emotional fluctuations. They may lash out, feel extensive agitation or fall into a depression. Needless to say, these changes can easily impact a person’s daily life and make it hard to adjust to life outside of the system.