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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220920 Find in a Library
Title: Treatment Prospects for Persons With Severe Mental Illness in an Urban County Jail
Journal: Psychiatric Services  Volume:58  Issue:6  Dated:June 2007  Pages:782-786
Author(s): H. Richard Lamb M.D.; Linda E. Weinberger Ph.D.; Jeffrey S. Marsh M.D.; Bruce H. Gross J.D., Ph.D.
Date Published: June 2007
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on a retrospective study of inmates with severe mental illness in a large, urban county jail, with attention to their psychiatric and criminal histories, their current status, the psychiatric services they received while incarcerated, and the challenges for their psychiatric treatment after release.
Abstract: Seventy-eight inmates (75 percent) were diagnosed with severe mental illness. Of these 78 inmates, 59 (76 percent) required inpatient care or its equivalent for part of their stay in jail for their current offense. Of the inmates with severe mental illness, 92 percent had a history of failure to take their prescribed medications prior to the current arrest; 95 percent had prior arrests; 72 percent had prior arrests for violent crimes against persons; and 76 percent had a history of substance abuse. These findings show that a large percentage of the individuals with severe mental illness received acute psychiatric inpatient treatment while in the care of the criminal justice system rather than from the community mental health system. The severely mentally ill individuals in this study would present a major challenge for the provision of treatment in any setting, given their psychiatric and criminal histories. The resources of the mental health system should be greatly expanded in order to meet this challenge, with priority given to treatment for persons who have engaged in criminal behaviors or who have symptoms that place them at risk for criminal behaviors. The study obtained data on the demographic characteristics, diagnoses, psychiatric and legal histories, and current psychiatric conditions and treatment for a random sample of 104 male inmates with mental illness. Data were obtained from jail psychiatric records, the electronic county mental health records, and State records of criminal histories. 3 tables and 18 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Jails; Mental health services; Mentally ill inmates; Mentally ill offenders; Offender mental health services; Treatment offender matching
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