Collaborations between criminal justice and mental health systems for prisoner reentry

William Penn University, Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
Psychiatric Services (Impact Factor: 1.99). 07/2006; 57(6):875-8. DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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