Treating offenders with mental illness: a research synthesis.

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
Law and Human Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.16). 02/2012; 36(1):37-50. DOI: 10.1037/h0093964
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this research synthesis was to examine treatment effects across studies of the service providers to offenders with mental illness. Meta-analytic techniques were applied to 26 empirical studies obtained from a review of 12,154 research documents. Outcomes of interest in this review included measures of both psychiatric and criminal functioning. Although meta-analytic results are based on a small sample of available studies, results suggest interventions with offenders with mental illness effectively reduced symptoms of distress, improving offender's ability to cope with their problems, and resulted in improved behavioral markers including institutional adjustment and behavioral functioning. Furthermore, interventions specifically designed to meet the psychiatric and criminal justice needs of offenders with mental illness have shown to produce significant reductions in psychiatric and criminal recidivism. Finally, this review highlighted admission policies and treatment strategies (e.g., use of homework), which produced the most positive benefits. Results of this research synthesis are directly relevant for service providers in both criminal justice and mental health systems (e.g., psychiatric hospitals) as well as community settings by informing treatment strategies for the first time, which are based on empirical evidence. In addition, the implications of these results to policy makers tasked with the responsibility of designating services for this special needs population are highlighted.

1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of psychological problems is high in prisons. Many prisoners have unmet needs for appropriate treatments. Although previous studies have suggested music therapy to be a successful treatment modality for prisoners, more rigorous evidence is needed. This parallel randomised controlled study aims to investigate the effectiveness of group music therapy to reduce anxiety and depression, and raise self-esteem in prisoners. One hundred and ninety two inmates from a Chinese prison will be allocated to two groups through randomisation. The experimental group will participate in twice weekly group music therapy for 10 weeks (20 sessions), while the control group will receive all standard care but no music therapy. Anxiety, depression and self-esteem will be measured by self-report scales three times: before, at the middle and at the end of the intervention. Logs by the participants and their daily routine behaviour records will be utilised as additional information. This study will increase the knowledge of the effectiveness of group music therapy for offenders. Generalisability to clinical practice will be strengthened by the flexibility of the intervention and a practical clinical guideline. We hope the findings will be able to support the further development of music therapy in correctional service.
    Nordic Journal of Music Therapy 09/2013; 23(3):224-241. DOI:10.1080/08098131.2013.854268 · 0.89 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this article, we present the results of a preliminary evaluation of a comprehensive treatment program specifically designed to treat co-occurring issues of mental illness and criminal risk in persons with mental illness (PMI) that are criminal justice involved. Participants include 47 incarcerated male PMI in a secure psychiatric prison or a residential treatment facility. Of the 47 participants, 31 (66%) completed the program, attended 94% of all sessions, completed 83% of assigned homework, and actively participated in treatment sessions as evidenced by participation ratings. Change was examined using a four-tiered assessment strategy, including pre–post significance testing, magnitude of effect sizes, clinical cutoffs, and reliable change indices. Results showed evidence of strong therapeutic alliance and treatment program satisfaction, as well as symptom reduction and some evidence for reduced criminal thinking. Program modifications and implications for enhancing service delivery to justice involved PMI are discussed.
    Criminal Justice and Behavior 01/2014; 41(7):902-916. DOI:10.1177/0093854813508553 · 1.71 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 6, 2014