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NCJ Number: 199845 Find in a Library
Title: Short Term Outcomes for Offenders with Mental Illness Released From Incarceration
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:47  Issue:2  Dated:April 2003  Pages:145-158
Author(s): Stephanie Hartwell
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on a study of offenders with mental illness that was designed to identify the characteristics that distinguish those who are returned to prison or a psychiatric facility from those who remain in the community after release.
Abstract: Since the later half of the 20th century, a policy of deinstitutionalization has resulted in the release of an increasing number of persons with mental illness into the community. Perhaps as a result, a growing number of prisoners in local, State, and Federal prisons are found to have mental illness problems. Further, current criminal justice policies on reintegration back into society rarely distinguish between inmates with mental illness from the general population of inmates. Thus, offenders with mental illness are released into the community at the same rate as other offenders. In order to examine the short-term community outcomes of offenders with mental illness who were released from incarceration, the author explored both the mental health and criminal justice histories of 247 offenders released from incarceration in Massachusetts. Data examined included sociodemographic information, mental health, criminal history, and service variables across a range of outcome categories that focused on those offenders who were reinstitutionalized or reincarcerated. Findings revealed that in comparison to mentally ill offenders who remained in the community, those who were reincarcerated were more likely released from misdemeanor sentences and those who were reinstitutionalized were more likely released from felony sentences. The author notes that these mentally ill offenders who are reincarcerated are more likely to look like typical offenders in that they are likely substance abusers who are involved with an array of social services and criminal activities. However, unlike the typical offender, these offenders are more likely to be female. In conclusion, the author notes that this study has implications for criminal justice policies that result in the continued processing of mentally ill offenders through the criminal justice system and mental health institutions. References
Main Term(s): Mentally ill offenders
Index Term(s): Mental illness-crime relationships; Offender mental health services; Recidivism
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