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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98157 Find in a Library
Title: Use of an Interagency Team Approach and Mental Health Referral Criteria to Improve the Effectiveness of Pre-Parole Mental Health Evaluations
Journal: Journal of Offender Counseling, Services and Rehabilitation  Volume:9  Issue:4  Dated:(Summer 1985)  Pages:5-18
Author(s): J R Prandoni; G C James; R M Kapit; J M Jones; B A Ridley
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The present paper describes a rationale for developing a program for pre-parole mental health screenings that involves the use of an interagency, multidisciplinary team and employs referral criteria based on mental health consideration.
Abstract: Governmental policies of deinstitutionalization and legal decisions limiting involuntary hospitalization have led to increased arrests of mentally ill persons. In effect, this has transferred care of a significant number of mentally ill individuals from the mental health system to the criminal-justice system and represents a major challenge for those attempting to address inmates' need. This is especially true when staff are preparing offenders for return to the community. The authors discuss implementation of this approach in the District of Columbia and contrast it with a previous approach that based referrals primarily on the nature of inmates' offenses. The new referral system resulted in identification of a significantly greater number of mentally ill offenders, while decreasing overall number of referrals. An evaluation of attitudes of referring staffs from the Department of Corrections and Parole Board showed these staffs felt the new guidelines were more effective in selectively identifying inmates in need of mental health services. (Author abstract)
Index Term(s): District of Columbia; Mental health services; Mentally ill offenders; Prerelease programs; Psychological evaluation
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