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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201661 Find in a Library
Title: Iowa Implements Mental Health Re-Entry Program
Journal: Corrections Today Magazine  Volume:65  Issue:5  Dated:August 2003  Pages:38-40
Author(s): Larry Brimeyer
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes Iowa’s mental health re-entry program for mentally ill offenders who are released back into the community.
Abstract: The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated the number of mentally ill offenders in the Nation's jails and prisons to be more than 25,000, or 16 percent of the incarcerated population. Mentally ill offenders who return to the community face a myriad of problems associated with first, being an ex-offender, and second, having mental health problems. Recidivism rates, while high for all ex-offenders, are particularly high for mentally ill ex-offenders. As such, Iowa has implemented a mental health re-entry program through a grant from the Iowa Department of Human Services. The goal of the program is to support mentally ill offenders in their re-integration process by identifying services, resources, and entitlements that these ex-offenders qualify for and by helping mentally ill ex-offenders overcome barriers in securing these services, resources, and entitlements. The program works by assigning a parole officer to work with an institutional counselor to identify appropriate referrals and develop a release plan before the offender is released. Approval for the plan is obtained from the parole board and release dates are coordinated. A high level of service is coupled with intense supervision for offenders who have been diagnosed with chronic Axis I mental illness. The eligibility and screening process for admission into the program is described and the results of the program to date are provided. Overall results are promising; of the 31 participants, 4 successfully completed their parole, 3 were re-arrested, and 1 had their parole revoked. In conclusion, the intensive supervision and support requirements of mentally ill offenders are better met through Iowa’s mental health re-entry program.
Main Term(s): Inmate release plans; Mentally ill offenders
Index Term(s): Adjustment to release; Iowa; Post-release programs; Supervised release
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