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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221720 Find in a Library
Title: Limitations and Potential in Current Research on Services for People with Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System
Journal: Journal of Offender Rehabilitation  Volume:45  Issue:3/4  Dated:2007  Pages:159-177
Author(s): Jeffrey Draine; Amy Blank Wilson; Wendy Pogorzelski
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 19
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study reviewed the research and conceptual basis of three major service models (police, court, corrections) currently promoted to address the treatment needs of people with mental illness and who are involved in the criminal justice system.
Abstract: The findings reveal that decisions about eligibility for treatment services have become entangled with informal assessments of the person’s guilt, culpability, and competence as well as security control factors like population management. Concern for the criminalization of mental illness has led to the development of three major types of services for people with mental illness who are involved in the criminal justice system: police-based diversion, mental health courts, and reentry services. Each of these services is built around a specific set of intervention points in the criminal justice system and maintains an organizing premise that treatment access should be the major focus of intervention. Each of these three service strategies generally assumes that treatment is often a more appropriate response than arrest or incarceration for people with mental illness. Screening procedures act to limit the pool of people with mental illness who will receive access to the treatment to only a small subset of the population found in the criminal justice system. The screening process creates a situation where decision about access to treatment services is contingent on normative judgments about who is believed to “deserve” a chance at treatment; for example, in mental health courts the decision about the appropriateness is based on a person’s willingness to admit to the crime and accept mental illness as the source of the trouble. People with mental illness, who are in the justice system, need treatment services regardless of the reasons for their involvement in the criminal justice system. References
Main Term(s): Criminal justice system analysis; Mental health services; Treatment effectiveness
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Court system; Police policy development
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