Collaborations Between Criminal Justice and Mental Health Systems for Prisoner Reentry

William Penn University, Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
Psychiatric Services (Impact Factor: 2.41). 07/2006; 57(6):875-8. DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed


This study assessed reentry programs throughout the nation for people with mental illness who were leaving prisons or jails and developed a classification of service strategies based on practices that are emerging in the field in response to this need.
A national survey identified service strategies that assist people who are incarcerated in prisons or jail and have a mental illness reenter the community. Data were used to develop a typology of reentry service strategies.
Fifty-eight reentry programs were identified. Program descriptions were developed for 50. Findings supported the use of a 2x2 typology of initiatives, with one factor being whether the criminal justice or mental health system initiated the program and the other being the degree of collaboration between the two systems.
If the funding trend indicated by this survey continues, the criminal justice system will become a primary funder of treatment services for offenders with mental illness who are returning to the community. No one knows how this shift in funding will affect the provision of mental health services.

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    • "Despite their contribution to the linkage between diversion and reentry research, Sung and Belenko's study is limited by the restricted number of correlates examined . In addition to background and personal factors, recent advances in reentry scholarship have pointed to the need of exploring the role of healthcare needs (Wilson & Draine, 2006) and social environments (Bales & Mears, 2008; Mears, Wang, Hay, & Bales, 2008), which should also be taken into consideration in diversion research. "
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    ABSTRACT: Reentry usually refers to the transition from incarceration to community living. However, offenders diverted from prison to community-based restrictive sanctions also face the challenge of social reintegration. This study uses a postmatching case–control design to identify risk and protective factors for 1-year recidivism among completers of the Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison (DTAP) program in Brooklyn, New York. DTAP is a deferred-sentencing program targeting repeat drug-abusing felons arrested for drug sales. Participants are required to plead to a felony charge and spend 18 to 24 months in residential treatment. Forty-seven DTAP completers who had been re-arrested within a year of their dismissal are compared to 47 matched nonrecidivists. Results suggest that weak treatment engagement and social isolation considerably increase the risk of recidivism. Certain health conditions and/or medical needs also significantly correlate to reoffending. Implications for reentry policy making and research are discussed. Diversion and reentry are two buzzwords that have dominated the field of corrections in the past twenty years. Hailed as strategies that promised rationality and effectiveness in the rehabilitation of criminal offenders, these two processes are distinct policy
    Criminal Justice Policy Review 06/2011; 22(2):219-234. DOI:10.1177/0887403410376588
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    • "In other words, mentally disordered offenders are not merely mentally ill individuals unable to survive without breaking the law, rather, these mentally ill individuals appear to think and process information as criminals. Although the criminal justice system has become the " defacto mental health system " (e.g., Holton, 2003; Wilson & Draine, 2006), a notion that offending among persons with serious mental illness is principally a function of their psychiatric symptomatology would be inaccurate. In fact, mentally disordered offenders in this study endorsed criminal thinking at a rate consistent with incarcerated offenders who are not mentally ill (see Walters, 1995; Walters & Geyer, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the prevalence of criminal thinking in mentally disordered offenders, incarcerated male (n = 265) and female (n = 149) offenders completed measures of psychiatric functioning and criminal thinking. Results indicated 92% of the participants were diagnosed with a serious mental illness, and mentally disordered offenders produced criminal thinking scores on the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS) and Criminal Sentiments Scale-Modified (CSS-M) similar to that of non-mentally ill offenders. Collectively, results indicated the clinical presentation of mentally disordered offenders is similar to that of psychiatric patients and criminals. Implications are discussed with specific focus on the need for mental health professionals to treat co-occurring issues of mental illness and criminality in correctional mental health treatment programs.
    Law and Human Behavior 07/2009; 34(4):324-36. DOI:10.1007/s10979-009-9182-z · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    • "). Furthermore, even if Medicaid is approved, myriad cultural and organizational disconnects between correctional, behavioral health, and social service systems may serve to further isolate ex-prisoners with multiple problems (Wilson & Draine, 2006). Prison provided an environment with a bed and food—necessities that ex-prisoners are very suddenly without. "
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    ABSTRACT: The statistics about incarceration in America during the past three decades indicate soaring numbers of people in prisons and jails. Upon release, ex-prisoners today have had longer incarceration periods, possess low levels of education or job skills, and often have significant physical and mental health problems and/or drug addiction. As a result, their re-entry into society is largely unsuccessful. In this policy analysis, we review the data on incarceration, its impact on those incarcerated, and the challenges of re-entry. We suggest methods for coping with this emerging social problem. Paramount will be the challenge to many social service systems to develop comprehensive sets of services such as independent housing and jobs alongside counseling and rehabilitation.
    Journal of Policy Practice 05/2008; 7(2-3):178-198. DOI:10.1080/15588740801938035
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