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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98439 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Impact of State Mental Hospital Deinstitutionalization of United States Prison Populations, 1968-1978
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:75  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1984)  Pages:474-490
Author(s): H J Steadman; J Monahan; B Duffee; E Hartsone; P C Robbins
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79-NI-AX-0216
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The hypothesized interdependence of the impact of State mental hospital deinstitutionalization on prison populations, a theory frequently invoked in policy debates, is analyzed comparatively and longitudinally.
Abstract: Data from 6 States for the years 1968 and 1978 were used to gather information on random samples of (1) approximately 400 adult male admittees to State prisons and 400 adult male admittees to State mental hospitals in New York and California and (2) on 300 admittees to State prisons and 100 admittees to State mental hospitals in Arizona, Texas, Iowa and Massachusetts. Data were gathered on the person's history of arrest, imprisonment, and mental hospitalization. Data analysis indicates that considerable deinstitutionalization of State mental hospitals occurred in all six study jurisdictions. However, there is little consistency in the percentage of prison admittees with a history of at least one prior mental hospitalization. In New York, Arizona, and Massachusetts, the percentage of admittees with prior hospitalization decreased between 1968 and 1978. California, Texas, and Iowa, on the other hand, recorded significant increases in these percentages. Conclusions indicate that there is little support for the hypothesis that prisons and mental hospitals are functionally interdependent. The source of the explosion in the U.S. prison population apparently must be found elsewhere than in the deinstitutionalization of mental patients. One plausible rival hypothesis is that increases in the population at risk of committing crime led to an increase in the rate of serious crimes punishable by imprisonment. Tabular data and 32 reference notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Deinstitutionalization; Hospitals; Mental illness-crime relationships; Prison population prediction
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