The impact of regionalization on reentry service outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness
Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Adult; Community Mental Health Services; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Forensic Psychiatry; Humans; Male; Massachusetts; Mental Disorders; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Prisoners; Severity of Illness Index
Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology
OBJECTIVE: The belief that public mental health services should be regionalized has guided their delivery for the past four decades. But there have been few opportunities to observe and evaluate a service entity's shift from a centralized to a regionalized delivery system. This brief report focuses on the regionalization of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health's forensic transition team, a service that manages community reentry from correctional settings for persons with severe mental illness.
METHODS: Pre-and postregionalization episodes (N=957) were compared to examine the consequences of regionalizing the forensic transition team.
RESULTS: Overall, engagement in services, a key forensic transition team outcome measure, improved postregionalization. Unexpectedly, the rate of loss to follow-up significantly increased among former county house of correction inmates.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, regionalizing reentry services increased the forensic transition team's capability and expertise in managing reentry for persons with mental illness. However, follow-up of individuals exiting county houses of correction remains a challenge.
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Citation: Psychiatr Serv. 2009 Mar;60(3):394-7. Link to article on publisher's site