Article

Community reintegration of prisoners with mental illness: A social investment perspective

The Center for Mental Health Services and Criminal Justice Research, Rutgers University, United States.
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.19). 01/2005; 28(1):43-58. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2004.12.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Responding effectively and efficiently to the needs of persons with mental illness returning to the community from prison requires identifying their differences in need and placement difficulties upon return and targeting reintegration investments to reflect these differences. This paper has three parts. The first part profiles the male special needs population in New Jersey prisons. These profiles describe behavioral health and criminal justice characteristics of 2715 male inmates with mental health problems, and are used to identify the scope and nature of the public's investment opportunity. The next part describes the costs associated with possible "investments." The special needs population is classified by need and placement difficulty, and then matched to reentry and community-based treatment programs. Costs are estimated for reentry planning and community-based treatment for the first year post-release. The third part recommends an investment strategy and a set of operational changes that might minimize the loss and maximize the return on the public's investment dollar in mental health.

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